Nov 112015
 

 

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

The goal is always to get out on time to go to church.  I will admit this “on time” phrase usually equals varied meanings between my husband and I.  Blame it on our different upbringings, varied personality traits, or lack of similar priorities, being early/”on time” has been an area I continually seek to improve in and yet you may not know it since failing miserably continues to be my norm.

As much of a task master as I felt I was being on this particular Sunday morning, it wasn’t enough to actually get us all in the car leaving plenty of wiggle room.  My husband has helped me see the beauty of “Wiggle room”. Wiggle room creates space and overall peace instead of anxiety and hurriedness when attending any activity.  Makes up for unforseen traffic.  Creates an ease of mind from those you are meeting with.  Promotes positive characteristics of dependability, respect, and consistency in which others see and value in you.  But.  I.  Still.  Wiggle.  Out. of having wiggle room as I head out the door most days.

As we drove to church, I calculated in my head if we would be able to squeeze in a stop at Dutch Bros and still be early/”on time” to church.  I asked the head “time keeper” in our house.  He said, “Probably not since the line is always super long”(what he is also saying is since we left with no “wiggle room” we have no time for extras).  But what to my wondering, Mint Mocha desiring eyes should see, was no one in the drive through at Dutch Bros coffee.  It.  Was.  Ordained.  By.  God.  My hearts desire could be fulfilled in this moment.  And this little before Christmas cheer encompassed my deepest soul (okay, maybe a little over the top, but sometime you need to drive the point home.)

As we pulled right into Dutch Bros we were once again greeted by a curly haired barista girl with ear to ear smiles and questions about our days plans.  We rolled down the girls window to let them give the low down to her.  My oldest daughter’s response to the, “What are you up to today?”, question was short and sweet, “Going to church”.  The barista was polite with her response but didn’t seem to share our same Jesus values.  My youngest daughter didn’t want to leave it at that though, she felt some more details should be included, “We go to church right over there at the Safari Sams building.  It’s real fun.”  My husband and I laughed a little and were somewhat surprised by the barista’s next comment, “That’s cool.  I try to get to church when I can because whenever I have gone I feel real peaceful.”

My husband and I discussed afterwards this somewhat unexpected portrayal of how an unbeliever (most likely) encountered the peace of Jesus when entering a church building.  And how this Peace, His peace, would be the very reason to go in the first place.

There is nothing like the peace of Jesus to be THE protector of our hearts, mind, and soul when in a time of unknown or trial.  This world, and the prince of this world, works overtime to cause fear and doubt as various troubles hit us.  I love the way Jesus loves and protects us from all the scary “what could be’s” of the future, “what should be’s” in our now, and let downs of the “what will no longer be’s” of past losses, and gives us His peace.  His peace overcomes.  His peace quiets us.  His peace speaks rest and hope to know it all is and will be well.

Thank the Lord for the protection of peace He offers you today.  And then receive His gift of peace in those places which currently trouble you.  Including plenty of “wiggle room” in your thoughts to have your mind renewed by His perspective.   Building in enough “wiggle room” into your agenda for the day to allow for those “God ordained” appointments He has for you.  And as your time is spent wiggling your mind, heart, soul and feet to Him, it is time never wasted.  His peace and love are always “on time”, just when we need them.

When has the Lord’s peace protected you from fear?  Will you thank Him for doing this?

In what relationship, troubling thought, or current trial do you need the peace of Jesus to overcome you?  Will you ask Him right now for His peace surpassing all understanding?

In what part of your typical day/weekly schedule are you prone to become too busy/distracted/burdened and are in need of some Jesus “wiggle room” to be included?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 182013
 

I MARRIED SOMEONE WHO IS THE DEFINITION OF ACHIEVER. UNFORTUNATELY.  When my husband took a strengths/personality profile, the words to describe him were:  achievement, competition, leadership, strategic.  All this to say, if I want to beat my husband at ANY game, I have to pray for divine intervention.

We were enjoying a weekend at the lake with my family.  (My husband and I were dating at the time.)  Nature.  Reading.  Snuggling by the fire.  A perfect setting.  That is, until the games.

Connect Four was our undoing as a couple.  I was determined to win.  He won the first 3 games, but he couldn’t win 4, 5, 6, skip to 10 in a row, could he?  Oh, but he could.  And he did.  (At this point I was in desperate need of a hug, which I wrote on in the first post of this heart encouragement series.)

My attitude was fairly stellar after the initial game.  I even kept my cool after the 3rd game.  I began to feel slightly antsy during the 5th game.  But after game 10, 6 Diet Cokes, and no pride to speak of, I was finished.  I couldn’t allow myself to fail one more time.

My husband and I haven’t played Connect Four to this day.  Eleven years of marriage later and the mere mention of  Connect Four causes my body to twitch with anxiety.  The only word that fills my mind is failure.

To fail:  To fall short of.  To be lacking.  To lose strength or vigor, become weak.  To stop functioning or operation.

Failure.  Hope lost.  Failure.  Self worth in questionFailure.  Mourning of loss.   Failure.  The reason I have lived life avoiding any risk.  Failure.  More about what others will think of me versus what God is asking of me.  Failure.  Being terrified to try again.  Failure.  Satan’s prime opportunity to steal my hope, purpose, and joy.

Jesus is my best friend, even when I label myself as a failure.  His plan and promises for me don’t change, even when the college ministry I helped start is shut down.  His extravagant grace doesn’t change, even when I respond in anger to my children and husband.  His lasting hope doesn’t change, even when I am crushed due to infertility.  His unconditional love for me doesn’t change, even when I look to sugar and caffeine for comfort instead of to Him.

My failures don’t change how Jesus sees me.  Jesus isn’t shaken by my past, present, or future failures.  I shouldn’t be either.  The song, “The Stand“, says, “He (Jesus) stood before my failures.  And carried the cross for my shame.”

Every man or woman who did something great in scripture, failed.  If they would have allowed their failures to cripple them, they never would have accomplished miraculous things for the Kingdom.

Instead of hiding from or being defeated by failure, Jesus says:

You are going to be ok, learn from it, and draw into Me.

I will use your failures to minister to others.

I don’t remember your shame, I don’t keep record of your failures. 

I will never leave you or turn away from you when you fail. 

Your failures do not define you. 

Take risks for My Kingdom in spite of the odds of success. 

Trust me and you will be equipped and strengthened to do what it is I am calling you to do.

Choose today to live life to the fullest.  Through His Spirit.  Failing, but learning from it.  Risking it all for the sake of His Kingdom.  Laying aside fears to stand in faith, love and hope.

1Peter 2:6b “…and the one who trusts in Him, will never be put to shame.”

Have you ever experienced failure that crippled you to try again?  What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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