A Story

“Give Peace a Chance.”

“Just Do It.”

“Keep Calm and Carry On.”

These are good slogans.

“I Just Don’t Feel Good.”

As slogans go, it’s pretty lame, but there are days, like this one, where it really fits. Like something is wrong but I don’t quite have words for it.

I mean, there are words.

There are valid reasons that I should feel grief; some current and some just brokenness from life in this world.

Believe me, I could talk all day about the challenges. I try not to. They make me think of the phrase, ‘groaning under the weight of sin’.

It’s just bad.

And it’s how I feel right now.

This ‘just don’t feel good’ is often my last stop before big grief and, often, panic. Except that I don’t have time for debilitating grief or panic right now.

Someone needs to tell the panic that it’s Christmas time and I’m busy.

I Don’t Have Time for This!

You know you’ve been there, or somewhere like it.

Sometimes, the challenges you face threaten to swamp you, but you just can’t put life on hold long enough to deal with them.

Or, maybe, the fallout from using up a box of Kleenex crying your eyes out is too steep a price to pay for the relief of letting bad things feel bad for a while.

Doesn’t matter why. Somedays I feel terrible and I know I’m not the only one.

Today, it started first thing this morning.

(There’s just nothing quite like a big jerk to start Monday morning off with a bang.)

Once I had a coffee in hand, as I sat with my Bible and notebook, I wrote, ‘If you are real and powerful, God, then you have to be real and powerful for days like these’.

And, just like he does, he gave me the words “In this life you will have trouble. But don’t worry because I have overcome the world”.

That’s the truth, I thought. But something was missing.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

That’s also what he does. God gives me half of the scripture so I’m forced to look up the other half. Crafty.

Peace

Peace… That’s the part of the verse that I’d forgotten.

And I hate writting about the peace that ‘surpasses all understanding’ from Philippians 4:7, because, not surprisingly, it is hard to understand, nevermind explain.

But I think I’ve learned something about it today.

Today, I’ve been praying and reading about this idea that Jesus has overcome the world, and what that means for us who are having trouble.

In comes this idea that peace is connected to the trouble, because of Jesus overcoming the troubled world.

As I was reading and listening, I realized that I was far more peaceful.

I had been asking – and listening for the answer to the question of just how did he overcome the world?

My reading (from another great post at desiringgod.org) was about us having “a hope-infused groaning, full of anticipation for what is coming”; for what he has done, does now and will do in the future.

And the scripture that spontaneously came to my mind were words that Jesus spoke.

So, what’s the common denominator?

Jesus, of course.

What I still can’t explain is how he can come into my heart and settle it with peace when none of the crap (pardon me) from earlier had changed even one little bit. What I can say is this:

If I had spent my day focused on all the challenges, I doubt peace would have come.

But I didn’t. I let the real difficulties that I face fade as much as I could. I focused on him. And he met me with peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

CAN YOU RELATE?

I write stories from my own journey to inspire you in yours. It's more than okay to be authentic and real as you grown in faith and I want you to know you're not alone.

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