Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
These days I have found that I have much peace. Through the years, I have come to realize this feeling can be one of the greatest gifts we can be given – that feeling that all is well. Amidst all the anxiety and stress around us, this is not an easy “place” to find. We can always find something to worry about, to fear, to dread, to regret, to grieve over, to be insecure, or uncertain about. These things can fill the spaces in our hearts and leave little room for God’s presence and His love.
As I think back over my working days when my kids were small, Bob was traveling on business, I was trying to help care for my mother as much as possible, I felt such pressure to get everything done, and it seemed I never had enough time with my family, I now realize how much peace and contentment I missed. I shouldn’t have let my heart become so troubled, my body get so weary, and my mind filled with so much stress and despair. I should have depended on God, done what was necessary, and found more joy in the simple, quiet things of life. I didn’t always have to be so busy or feel so burdened. I could have placed those things I worried so much about in His hands and had the confidence and assurance that He was always with me and would carry me through. How much time I wasted worrying about things of little importance or fearing things that never came to be.
I am so grateful for these retired days. I have learned that I can actually rest and spend some quiet time with God. But I am even more grateful for the gift of knowing I can let go of so many of those things I use to worry about, even if I sometimes falter. Resting in Him can bring such a freedom from the heavy burdens and cares of the world – the need to fix everything and to be able to control the events in our lives and in the lives of those we love.
What a gift when we can finally come to the place of knowing God walks with us and all will be well. I pray we will find that place of peace He longs to give us and rest in Him.
Dear Lord, thank you for the peace and assurance that only you can give. Help us that we can always place our cares and concerns in your hands. Calm our anxious hearts in difficult times and fill us with your strength, grace and loving presence. Amen