Peace and Joy - Through It All
"The Apostle Paul had a strong and steady underlying consistency to his life. Consequently, he could let his external life change without internal distress because he was rooted and grounded in God” (from My Utmost for His Highest)
Imagine if you could live like that. Imagine being peaceful through it all. Imagine feeling joy through it all. This only happens when we fully trust God. Only when we know how much He loves us and we believe He is with us can we have peace and joy even when everything seems to be tumbling all around us.
I know this is possible because it just happened to me.
My mom was scheduled for major back surgery. She’s 84 years old, so of course there was some risk involved with the surgery. This was going to be my mom’s 4th back surgery and I had been there for the first 3. I felt I needed to be there. I planned on being there, my ticket to Florida already bought.
As I was getting ready to leave for my mom’s surgery, my son Neal was having issues with his health. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a year prior but something was going really wrong. He hadn’t been able to keep food inside of him for a few weeks and it was getting worse.
The day before I was to fly out for my mom’s surgery I was beginning to think Neal needed to be admitted into the hospital. I felt I couldn’t leave to be with my mom because my son needed me.
Before I continue I need to back up about 8 years to my mom’s first back surgery. About 3 weeks before this surgery, during a prayer time, I mentioned to God how cool it would be if my mom’s favorite verse was sent out by K-Love the day of her surgery (I receive a daily verse from K-Love radio station). I wasn’t saying this to test God, honestly, I really don’t know why I even mentioned this to Him.
I woke up the morning of her surgery, not even thinking about my prayer weeks earlier, but obvisouly God remembered it I checked my email that morning and what do you think came in? Yep, K-Love’s verse that day was my mom’s favorite, Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
When I saw this verse I remembered my prayer weeks earlier and I had this overwhelming feeling of God’s presence. I knew He was so close. During her 8 hour surgery I was at peace. Of course I wanted my mom to live, but I felt so certain of God’s presence that I was OK if He choose to bring her to Him that day.
So, now back to my mom’s recent surgery. I so wanted to be there and felt it critical that I be there to make sure everything was done properly. My sister Nicole also wanted to be there but couldn’t get there until a few days after her surgery. As my mom was wheeled into surgery she met the 2 nurses who would be with her in the operating room - their names - Michelle and Nicole.
When I was told this amazing news I had, once again, this amazing peace. God was with her. I thought it was so important for me to be there but God reminded me that much more importantly, He was there. While my mom was being operated on I took Neal to the hospital for more tests, to another dr. appointment and then back to the hospital. Thankfully, Neal didn't have to stay in the hospital but now we had to wait for the test results.
Peace and Joy instead of Fear and Worry.
So crazy - I wasn’t worried about any of it. I’m serious - it wasn’t just that I wasn’t worried, I was actually so filled with joy. I couldn’t believe that God, who sits on His throne overseeing the whole world, was so personally involved with my life. He knew when I heard the names of the nurses that I would be flooded with the feeling of His presence. He loves me so much that He wanted me to have peace.
This same God loves you too!! He wants to bring you peace and joy in all situations. When we think about how huge God is and all He does to comfort us doesn’t it seem silly to turn to food or other things for comfort? God is The Comforter.
Like Paul, we can have a strong and steady underlying consistency to our life. Our external life can change without effecting our internal distress because we are rooted and grounded in God.
We know stress is bad for our physical health. Even if we can do the greatest exercise routines daily and eat the cleanest, healthiest food, we can still be unhealthy because of an overload of stress. Continue to consistently connect with God and you will experience peace that goes beyond all understanding! (Phil 4:7)
This is why I love telling people about Jesus. I want them to experience His presence and feel peace and joy through it all!