Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hard Story...My Peace I give to you

  1. John 14:27Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
  2. Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    I am going to write you a hard story that came to me out of the blue today while spending time with the Lord. I will change the names and circumstances to protect my friend.

    I had a very close friend at one time. Her name was Angelia. From the worlds eyes Angelia had all the world could offer. She had a loving husband and two lovely children, Bryan and Shelia. Our kids use to play together. We had a lot in common, Angelia and I. One thing we shared was our discontentment with those around us and our lives. My discontentment found comfort in hers.

    After several years, we went our separate ways. Then one day I found myself with the opportunity to get to meet and be with her. Many things had happened in our lives and much water under the bridge. We didn't talk too much about all that stuff but where we were then and there.

    She began talking to me about a grandchild of hers. It was a young girl. She had been married and divorce, had children of her own and seemed very troubled. I shared my story with her of my mental disorder and how there were signs with this young girl I would be concerned about. That maybe she too had mental issues that needed dealing with with a good doctor and counseling. Angelia did not want to hear what I had to say. She dismissed most of my conversation with her and went on to her discontentment and her lack of ability to change those in her life, once again after so many years.

    Several years passed and I heard from my friend, through a friend, that her granddaughter had committed suicide and she had been the one to find her. She was grieving as you would expect but blaming those around her for the instance and struggling to forgive. Still was still effortlessly trying with all that was in her to change those around her but was still left in her discontentment.

    Years later I heard my friend was not well. She had developed an even more serious heart problem than she had had when I knew her. I think it ran in her family. I wondered if the discontentment did also. Situations had changed but things seemed to be the same in her life. One tragedy after another.

    She use to tell me each time I would meet with her that God did not allow her to live on the mountain top because she did not know how. He kept her in the valley. I have thought a lot about that over the years. I know God is in control and my friend did develop a hard life but I wonder what was her valley. Was it the fact of hard circumstances or because she never was able to accept the life God had given her and trust Him with it. She loved her family and God dearly. We always had that in common. But there was no acceptance in her of her life, others and I wonder of God's work in her life.

    She died an early death. There was no evidence that I heard that she had ever become content. No evidence that she ever had peace and real joy. Although she smiled all the time it always seemed to be through her tears. I loved my friend. She was a good friend to me. Maybe I am just now grieving her death and her life, I don't know.

    I was so much like my friend. But by the grace of God I know a contentment and a joy that can only be found in him. My life still sucks at times. I hate it when those we love are struggling and in pain. I feel their pain. But by God's grace He has brought me to a place of loving people for who they really are. Accepting who He has allowed me to be and my struggles in life. Trusting God with peoples change and mine. I have a peace that passes all understanding that is only possible by the grace of God to me. The only thing I know to do to show God how thankful I am and how much I love Him is to write stories like this. Hard stories but ones that let you know their is a river and it flows through the heart of man that trust His God with all the life he has been allowed, the precious gift, that has been given.

    Don't, me don't, you don't let this wonderful gift pass us by. Paul knew this joy while in prison and being beaten. Many knew this joy while being crucified and burned at the stake. Their is a joy that is beyond anything man can imagine. It is the Peace that passeth all understanding from trusting and loving God and others.

    My peace may go tomorrow when more hard things come but I know the way back home to my Father. I know how to go back to the arms of the one that died on the cross for me. When Christ was crucified the disciples were all discouraged and downtrodden. They couldn't see past the pain and the appearance of the circumstances of apparent defeat. It was the greatest victory that ever was. Life is bigger than we can see. God is at work in every circumstance in your life to bring about things you never imagined nor may understand until heaven. One thing I know you and I can trust Him even in those things and with those people we don't understand, events we don't understand and maybe even like. But there is something about accepting them and what has happened as from a loving God. God is good and displayed that love by sending His One and only Son to died on the cross for you and me to give us eternal life with Him. How would He hold back goodness, His goodness from you and me. Seek Him. He will be found. Fight to rest in His finished work for you. Don't give up and give in like I did. Press on, wait, persevere and trust God to His glory. If you need to pray for the faith you need. He will answer. If you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains because it is not how much faith you have but who you have faith in. Trust Him. He can be trusted. He is trustworthy.