I am overwhelmed. Everywhere I turn is some tragedy taking place in the world. Several of my family members are going through the worst health issues right now. The ugliest, most hateful political situations are always front and center on the news. Everyone is tearing apart everyone for having opinions on anything and everything. Sex trafficking and human slavery is record high. Homelessness is an ongoing crisis. Cancer and sickness are crushing spirits all over the world. Suicide is rampant. Marriages are falling apart. The american church has turned fearful of sharing the gospel, has lost sight of discipleship, and is no longer a place of growth, but a place of contentment. Theres so much more going on, but these are some of the things that I remember to fight for in my daily prayers.
Worrying is draining and praying for the same things every single day is hard. I see these huge difficulties ahead of me and the people that I love and I sometimes feel so small.
This is my current take on chaos.
I love Jesus for so many reasons, but one of my favorite things about Him is how relatable He is. We literally have a perfect human example to look up to. The most touching part of the story of the Cross for me is when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane awaiting his capture and eventual gruesome death. It says in Mark 14:32, “They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, ‘Sit here while I go and pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. ‘Abba, Father,’he cried out, ‘everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.'”
Jesus felt every emotion in human existence and was asking God to reconsider. He struggled so hard in this moment and portrayed such a beautiful example of how to choose the Promises of God over what we want. He didn’t want to do this. He didn’t want to experience all the pain that laid before Him, but He endured it all for us. The ultimate act of obedience has been done on behalf of the people who were killing Him, mocking Him, and for the future souls who would deny Him. He did it for me. What kind of love is this? For me, this gives me so much hope that my incomparable pain is doable. My daily battles and fears are covered. That I can get through it with the help of the one who endured it all.
Now lets get to the peace.
I don’t even want to say the words “finding peace,” because peace is with us. Jesus IS peace and He gave us His Holy Spirit a long time ago. If we have a relationship with Jesus then we have peace! What was an absolute nightmare and absolutely unbearable on a Friday, was redeemed and the greatest day in history on that following Sunday.
In John 20:19 it says, “That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.”
“Peace be with you” was the last thing Jesus spoke over His people. He said it over and over again because it mattered and because it meant He wasn’t truly leaving them. As a major “feeler” on the Meyers Briggs scale, I struggle with feeling peace often. Just because I don’t feel something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Peace is something we must declare. Peace is something we must walk in. Peace is something that we can be confident we do have, because it’s PROMISED to us. Wherever you are tonight, whatever you’re walking through, I pray these words and the promises of Jesus can wash over you and you can rest assured that He is with you.
-Declare peace over your situations, declare Jesus is better, recite scripture. Write on sticky notes all over your house if you have to. Put them on your bathroom mirror, on your coffee maker, on the refrigerator, in your car, on your phone. Surround yourself with the Word of God.
-Listen to worship music daily. Put yourself in a posture of surrender and sing these songs in your heart. You’ll be surprised the comfort they bring you.
-Get off of your phone and TV. Go outside, take a walk, go to dinner with a friend, read a book, do something not in front of a screen with access to a world of problems. Social media and the news are triggers of anxiety and depression.
-Lastly, get people around you. Get a group of Jesus loving people that can hold you accountable, speak truth and life into you, and people to have fun and laugh with. We were never created to be alone.