Peace that Passes Understanding…


I’ve become one of those people who pass much of their day drinking coffee in a coffee shop or bookstore, working on their laptops.  I’ve always wondered why people do that.  Don’t they have a home or an office?  Doesn’t the constant stream of people and conversation around them bother them?  Don’t they have somewhere else to be?

I have a comfortable home with plenty of peace and quiet, but I get tired of staring at the same four walls at home, chores all completed, fighting the urge to watch television all day in a state of numb oblivion.  The coffee shop and bookstore have free wireless internet and perfect coffee.  They allow me the faint distraction of evaluating other people’s fashion choices, in the most Christian way, of course ~ “Bless their hearts!” (How can you not notice and wonder a bit when the 60ish guy with a jet black mullet, choker necklace made of bones, short black shorts, bright red socks, and black sandals comes strolling in?  My own fashion sense isn’t always perfect, but some things just beg you to notice and have an opinion). It also occasionally allows me to run into someone I know and have a brief conversation, and keeps me from numbing out at home. 

I sit here with plenty of time to think, feeling the weight of my situation.  For months now, God has felt very near to me in a way I’ve never quite experienced before.  There is a sense of peace and inner joy that I cannot describe or even fully understand myself.  I’ve been free of anxiety attacks and depression, in spite of the tremendous changes and stress-inducing circumstances in my life.  Technically speaking, it’s not much of a stretch to say that I should be huddled in a corner, drooling, and mumbling something incoherent over and over again… 

And yet, here I sit, calmly typing away at Starbucks, giggling at other people’s fashion sense, or lack thereof, drinking CAFFEINE.  In the past, the littlest bit of caffeine sent me right over the edge, but I’m on my second cup without a hint of a side effect.  Who am I?  The answer is, I learned to live out Philippians 4:6-9. 

Philippians 4:6-9 (New Living Translation)

 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I have poured out my concerns to God, telling Him exactly what I need and desire, and thanking Him for the ways He has already provided for me.  I have listened for His voice and done all I know to do to obey Him.  I have fixed my thoughts (most of the time) on things that are ‘truehonorablerightpurelovelyadmirableexcellentworthyofpraise’, telling the fearful and anxious voices in my head to shut up and go away.  Why should I be surprised that it’s actually working? 

I have decided to believe.  If God is God, then I must serve Him.  If someone or something else is god, then I should serve that person or thing.  I refuse to be wishy-washy in my faith, flopping from side to side, saying I trust God but running around in anxious circles, throwing my hands up in the air and crying.  If I believe God is God, and I believe He speaks to me in a still, small voice of love, then I must faithfully obey His commands.  Anything else is not faith.

I believe God has spoken to me clearly the same message for the last several months:  be still, stop struggling, and wait for the redemption of the Lord.  I believe that He has said what He has for me will come to me in His timing, in His way, without all my frantic worrying. 

I have spent a lot of time with the Lord, fasting and praying, laying out my concerns and requests before Him, asking for direction and for Him to open the door before me and to keep me from making a foolish decision out of fear or desperation.  If you really think about it, isn’t that what you expect a minister of the gospel to do when in this type of situation? 

As long as I continue in the current course of action – waiting, praying, seeking God, and trusting Him to provide for me, I have an unexplainable peace.  When I get my eyes off Jesus and look at the waves threatening to swallow me up, I do face an overwhelming feeling that disaster is upon me.  In those moments, I stop and evaluate my thoughts.  I get my eyes back on Jesus and the calm returns.  As I gaze into His eyes, I feel the most comforting sense of love, peace, and comfort. 

I admit that one of my fears is that what I think is God’s voice is merely my own.  As I consider that fear, I’ve come to a conclusion:  If I’m wrong, then I’ll deal with the consequences of my decision.  If I’m wrong, then it is ME who has failed to correctly discern God’s voice.  I will not blame God or love and trust Him less.  I will deal with my own lack of discernment and pick up the pieces. 

One of the things I think God is teaching me through this time of waiting is how to stand firm in my beliefs.  God hears my prayers.  He is teaching me something through this trial.  He is in control.  What have I to fear?  The only thing I can think of right now is that I fear looking like the older lady who just walked in wearing bright green, skinny jeans, a skin-tight black and white striped shirt, and purple high-tops.  Oh my…

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12 Comments

Filed under Spiritual Life

12 responses to “Peace that Passes Understanding…

  1. Mendy Ray

    This word of encouragement is one that I desperately needed to hear. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Kimberly!

    • Thanks, Mendy. I pray that God will continue to encourage you and give you the strength you need to become all He has for you to be.

    • donna jones

      no kidding! Im struggling ….in typical “January” fashion —not to be confused with the Feb, March or April manner of struggling-Ha! January ,ahh ,yes,those familiar voices in my head –“Its a new year with new opportunities
      hey , I’m not getting any younger!..Time to take stock ,what needs improvement? Do I want to be fat the rest of my adult life? and time’s running out to decide what i want to be when I grow up-Ha”
      Constantly having to remind myself that “no weapon formed against me shall prosper”, but still so affected by emotions that take me on an endless
      roller coaster ride –from the euphoria of hope and “can-do!.”…..to despair and” what’s the use ?”And the problem is that they seem equally true to me when my mind is
      in that state. It seems to be REALITY that…… I am weak and destined to just march out this life not living up to any real potential due to neuroses ,sin and missed opportunities–
      forced to wear a mask on the worst days in order to not alarm anyone and to carry on till life lightens,not neglecting counting my blessings and concluding “it could be alot worse, and
      I really have a lot to live for &I do love my family …..then ,at other times it is REALITY that “I am truly wonderfully and fearfully made” and He said He has plans for me and I do have gifts
      He plans to use , I am being led even now–relationships with Gran,Ali and Lovelady women ,etc ,are all stepping stones in my path ordained by Him. And I can start a business or write.. or do this or that.. as long as I honor Him
      He will open doors and guide me. And my behavior reflects the state I’m in. For a couple of blissful days I’m rearranging furniture ,painting a masterpiece,cooking and seeing glimpses of destiny in my life….all to have it vanish and
      feel as though unloading the dishwasher is like pulling teeth and I just want to hide and take cover–like-Im the only one who failed to get the manual on how to live life..& how silly to think I can muster what it takes to pursue anything higher than just keeping on keeping on.
      But , God is still God . He created me like I am , I’m a package-with strengths and weaknesses. He wants all of me . He will use my gifts and get the Glory when I depend on Him in my weakness.He will never leave or forsake me. He has a prize in me since He is looking for the broken,and contrite heart-the needy! But I do long for a sober mind, a sound mind,peace that passes understanding,a stable and settled heart and a confidence that no weapon formed against me shall prosper—especially on days when that weapon is my own mind.

  2. WHAT?!?!?!? You mean that still, small voice in my head might very well be my own? I have no idea what you’re talking about, nope, none! 😉

    I have the great privilege and rare treasure of personally walking with you in this life and I love, LOVE, watching God work in you. You have transformed before my very eyes in ways that I’ve never seen… it is exciting… your faith, your trust, your peace.

    Exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever hope or imagine… that is what I hear when I pray for you friend. Hold on, it is on the way and much closer than you know.

  3. Rhonda

    Kim,
    This was awesome and just what I needed to read/see today. I feel like I am being swallowed up and not allowing God to work and answer my prayers. I pray and feel like there’s no answer but I will wait upon the Lord and He will renew my strength.

    I’m not a Starbucks fan but I love to have coffee out and “people watch” too. Cracks me up and some fashion sense.

    I pray God continues to bless you and work in and through you.

    Love you ,
    Rhonda

    • Rhonda, I really appreciate your comment and just reading my blog. I pray that God will let you feel His love and that you’ll be able to relax into His provision and blessings. He keeps reminding me recently that He’s not trying to rob me, but to bring me blessings that are beyond what I can comprehend! If you allow Him to work, He’ll bless you in ways you never imagined. 🙂 Love you!!!

  4. dad

    you are occupying much of my prayer with thanksgiving and petition, you write well. lookking forward to seeing you in several weeks. need to have your car here for service by thurs night, love you , dad

  5. Linda P. Morris

    Kimberly…I accidentally (I SAY ‘accidentally’, but we both know that ‘accident’ means ‘God’s providence’ because I had hit the ‘enter button’ for ‘mapquest’)found your blog and even tho I don’t know you personally…I totally relate to what you are saying.

    Starting 6 months ago, I agreed to teach a ladies sunday school class, which freaked me out a bit because I had only worked with children. However, because God had laid on my heart a real ‘need’ in our church for a class that catered to the ‘heart of God’s women’. God took the ‘teach’ out of it and inserted ‘lead’ instead. As anyone knows, to lead is to go in front of and experience (sometimes physically and sometimes heartfelt experiences) what the person you are leading will be or can possibly go through. The ‘training’ for leading was something that I turned completely over to God, but had no idea the pit that I was to be thrown into (although temporarily) to truly learn how to lead. I wanted to scream ‘GET ME OUT OF HERE’ but… I refused to wimp out and instead, asked, or rather begged God to hold my hand tightly and lead me through what He wanted me to learn. In doing that, God taught me to trust, how to cleanse the closets of my heart and mind in order to be a vessel worthy of the task He had prepared for me. There are so many things (like this blog) that has confirmed to me that I am in God’s perfect will (not bragging or putting me up on a higher plain by any means, so please don’t misunderstand me) and doing exactly what He had in mind for me…simply because I was obedient to Him and opened myself for personal cleansing. The class has grown tremendously, not because of me in any way, but because our ladies are being drawn to a closer walk with God. We have a Beth Moore Esther study going on as well in the evenings at our church, and it is so amazing how the study goes right along with what God had put in my heart months ago!

    Yes my dear sister, if we only let go and let God do with us as He pleases, blessings galore await us. Sorry this was so long, but wanted to thank you for yet another confirmation that God is pleased with my committment to Him. God bless and may your life be blessed as you have blessed me (and others I am sure) ……..In Christ, Linda

    • Wow, Linda. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means more than you know to find out that something I’ve written has helped someone else along the way. I am blessed.

  6. I just stumbled on your blog, but was really encouraged by this post. Thanks so much. It did remind me of this joke I saw recently about an old women in trying times, but somewhat different. (http://www.christianfunnypictures.com/2012/03/letter-from-god-joke.html)

    Thanks again for a beautiful post.

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