Anywhere peace is lacking, you can be sure the enemy is at work. -Priscilla Schierer
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. -John 14:27
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. -Romans 8:6
This season, I’ve craved that quiet time. The time to myself to really reflect and anticipate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. But, it’s been difficult time to find the quiet this year.
There’s been quite the array of highs and lows this past month. Our family had unanticipated news about my dad’s health. His cancer spread to a new location. We didn’t plan on making the drive back over to visit my side of the family this month, but this news changed that decision.
My “planner mentality” took over. I wanted to arrange the best time to go and visit my parents. But, in order to travel, I realized our family needs to be in good health and my dad needs to be in good enough health to take visitors. We’re hoping to make this trip over later in the month.
An annoying cold hit me pretty hard this past month as well; it took forever to get over (thank you, pregnancy). In the middle of this cold, I attempted potty training with our little guy. With that comes the obvious need for patience in the midst of successes and failures. Thankfully, our son made some great progress, but we didn’t make the full transition.
We’ve also had some great times with family and friends- parties, a mini vacation, and other holiday events. I’m definitely thankful for the quality time that we’ve had.
So, we’ve been busy to say the least, and my intended quiet time has been a struggle. I had every intention of making this month all about Jesus, but it hasn’t gone how I had hoped. Some events have been anticipated and others haven’t.
With that said, I really had to reflect on where my heart was in the midst of all the craziness- good and bad circumstances. Where was my heart when I heard my dad’s cancer had now spread to a different location? Where was my heart during our wonderful mini vacation? Where was my heart during the messes- successes and failures of potty training? And where was my heart during some magnificent events that sparked the start of this holiday season?
In the center of the craziness, I can say that my heart wasn’t always at peace. I felt like a failure.
I felt less than because my quiet time wasn’t working out to how I wanted it to be. Yes, I was sneaking in devotional time here and there, but the time felt rushed. My schedule wasn’t working out to where I could really sit down at a certain time to reflect, read, and write.
Sometimes life is so chaotic that schedules go out the window. Real life takes over, and what is planned never takes place or gets delayed. There’s always unpredictability in each day. And that’s a part of life. But, peace can still reign in the chaos.
Each day brings a new adventure, the expected and unexpected. But with that, I needed to realize that my heart needs to be focused on the right Person rather than on my circumstances.
These last few weeks shouldn’t have been about me always having the quiet time that I wanted in order to get peace, it should have been about me always seeking Him despite the quiet time I desired. I needed to seek Him in the chaos, turn to Him rather than to something else. Calling out even with all the noise and knowing that He was and is present.
He is my peace.
With the past few weeks being filled with highs and lows, it brought me to a new place of gratitude and understanding. It reminded me to be thankful for those quiet times that I do get to have. They don’t always go as long as I’d like, but they still take place more often than not. I’m beyond thankful for that. These weeks have reminded me to still be intentional about that quiet time, even if it doesn’t go as planned. And to stay focused on Jesus in all circumstances. Turn to Him, look to Him, seek Him first and foremost in all things. My failure to do this has been a great lesson, and lessons through experience are often the best teacher.
Most significantly, I’m thankful that God was and is always there waiting. He was there in the midst of all these events. It didn’t matter how distracted I became, how I blatantly turned away, or how I just disregarded His presence. He still waited.
There’s been a great joy that has overtaken me the past few days. Forgiveness is an amazing and undeserved gift, thanks to Jesus. It’s a gift that I take for granted at times, but it always brings me to a place of humility- reflecting and realizing how far I am from God, how He continues to pursue me, and how much He’s sacrificed for me through His Son so that I can be in relationship with Him.
I’m thankful for the forgiveness and peace that Jesus brings.
He is truly the Prince of Peace.