Peace to You

Josh took the younger boys to the Farm Progress show with my father-in-law. The two big kids left this morning for school. That leaves me here alone in the house, sitting on the couch next to the open sliding door window. It’s one of my favorite times of year when the hot weather finally turns cool in the morning. We’re not there yet, but close.

i had the thought this morning, “Is this what I’ve been depriving myself of all these years?” I was referring to the aloneness and solitude. Right about the time all my kids were old enough to be in school, we moved and I decided to homeschool them. Homeschooling had been a long time dream of mine, and I can honestly say, it’s been everything I hoped it would be, and more. The more consists of the extra messes and mealtimes, an extremely lived in basement schoolroom that’s been depressing me and driving me nuts for years. The more has also consisted of countless days like this, where my kids are free to go to out to the farm, or into their grandparent’s house, or over to the farm progress show with their father and grandfather. We haven’t started school yet this year, but in many ways, school never ends because the days just keep going.

It’s good for me to take and have time to reflect. When I don’t, I tend to get too caught up in the present moment, particularly if the present moment is stressful. One of the yoga affirmations in one of the videos I’ve done more regularly is “Outside circumstances will not effect my inner peace.” That doesn’t mean we’re suddenly no longer human and never find ourselves stressed again. It simply means we know who to turn to, we know who upholds us when the world around us feels too unstable. Psalm 46 is a wonderful example of this, the famous, “Be still and know that I am God.” Though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…

There’s that verse in the New Testament that tells us not to be anxious in anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition and thanksgiving, present our requests to God. It says the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. I think it’s tempting to read that verse and think it’s saying something like, “Don’t be anxious, or else!” Or, “Just stop it. Quit being anxious. It’s just wrong, ok?”

But that’s not what God is saying here. Our God is the God of comfort and assurance. When he says not to be anxious, it’s because he wants to hear from us. I like to think of the peace that passes all understanding not as some kind of inner peace we’re trying to muster up, but as the strength of the Lord who day and night, in every hour, in every trial and occasion throughout our lives, is actively guarding our hearts and our minds.

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