I was driving to a gathering - fearing, anxiously thinking, and maybe even dreading a bit - what might happen. I was reminded of past experiences that had occurred around this certain day - recalling people and moments - and almost sad about what might be experienced on this new day.
I find that experiences tend to have deep meaning for me. I cherish relationships and special moments and if/when something changes - even possibly for the better - I often feel hurt and pain and even grieve over what is no longer there.
As I was driving, praying, and thinking, I was filled with an overwhelming peace.
I was encouraged by the sovereignty of God - knowing that He is in control and comforted by His love, His promises and His faithfulness. My thoughts began to change and I was flooded with reflection about the good and blessed things in my life.
I was faced with an interesting observation. Maybe peace means more to my small human mind through some of my rough experiences.
Perhaps it's coping on the part of the human brain - persistent, probing sad thoughts and memories - or positive reflections of the past mixed with regret about past decisions or loss. But what advantage does this have to our lives? While looking inward and back to reflect and learn can yield helpful results, I find that it can be damaging to mull and obsess over what happened - what could have been - and really, what's in the past.
These thoughts turned my objectives and my mindset towards this event. Instead of focusing on possible fearful reminders and thoughts, I thought about how blessed I am in so many aspects of my life and contemplated how I could encourage and reach out to the people I would be interacting with. As my thoughts turned upward and outward, I embraced a beautiful peace. I have some nicks and scrapes on my heart and mind, but I have a soothing, refreshing, restoring peace - and it's beautiful.
It's a gift to find peace in God through Jesus Christ - but also to rest in it.
The holiday season can hold happy and sad memories. But this season, I hope that you embrace true love and peace.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."
"7 So Jesus said to them again, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."