This morning I am thinking about Heaven being a state of mind and I am reminded of something I heard many years ago. “We cannot get to Heaven until everyone does.” To me that means if I am seeing ungodlike traits in anyone, that can keep me from experiencing joy and peace. We need to see others as God sees them; not the rough and sometimes nasty exterior. So often, they are coming from fear. Just like at Halloween, we don’t believe the scary costumes at our door, when the children come to “trick or treat”, but know the purity and innocence beneath that apparel.
Luke 6:37 states “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Only then, can we experience Heaven.
Working about the true meaning of “Christmas” this morning, I began to think of “Peace on earth, good will toward men”. It’s so easy to get caught up with the gift-giving, decorating and party-going that we overlook the real purpose of the celebration. Once again, I began thinking about peace on earth and good will toward men. Of course, I want peace on earth. That should go without saying. Then I began to think of good will toward men and I was reminded of political stories everywhere and how I felt divided about some of the players and certainly wasn’t thinking about good will toward them. God is the only creator there is and He doesn’t pick and choose but only sees our perfection. Psalms 145:9 reads “The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.”
No where does He say “some”, but “all”. I began praying to be meek and know the definitions mean humbly patient; not inclined to anger or resentment; yielding. Now, that is how I can celebrate Christmas and pray to do so.
This morning I have been thinking about peace and harmony and how I can seem to lose those feelings when I am inconvenienced. There are times it appears someone is late for a meeting that puts a hardship on others that are there on time. This just happened to me last night and I entertained “irritation”. While driving home, I did some prayer work because I noticed that it was me giving my “peace” and “harmony” away. I then thought of how I have always “prided” myself with my punctuality and “judged” others when they were late or didn’t show up for a pre-agreed meeting.
My thought then went to knowing “pride and fear” have no place in the Kingdom of Heaven but “gratitude and humility” can always lead one there. Jeremiah 29:11 states “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Later on last night, I received a telephone call for prayerful work and I thank God that by then, I had my peace and was able to assist the caller.
We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we view it. Love and compassion are always the answer.
Last night we lost our power until after midnight and then it went out three or four more times. There were over seven hundred homes affected. My husband and I read by candlelight until we went to bed. I began pondering peace during this time and thinking of how the Israelites could not store up manna, but had to gather it daily. Not so long ago, I would have felt so inconvenienced, anxious and fretful but I began to be thankful for the conveniences we have daily and take for granted.
This morning we found out it was a woman, intoxicated who had run into the power box. I found myself praying about her.
Last evening, Philippians 4:6,7 and 19 came to me which states “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus….And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” As I prayed I realized it was not for the power to return on but to have peace during that time.
Today I decided I would delve into the Beatitudes one by one. The first one is Matthew 5:3 which reads “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Admittedly, that was never my favorite until I realized that was exactly when I turned to God wholeheartedly and was more willing to listen. Otherwise, my thought is so filled with worldly nonsense and worry, that peace can never find a space. This morning I will quieten my thought until I feel that peace.
Recently I read from a Bible commentary “Ancient philosophers drew connections between sound thinking and peace.” This just reinforced how important my thinking is to me! If it is filled with anger, bitterness, and anxiety; that is certainly not conducive to health and well-being. It is said in Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” Isn’t that referring to Love and Truth?
Negative thought should be cast out as soon as it is recognized and replaced with Truth and Love. That is my plan for today.
As I ponder this today, I think of when I am struggling, it is because human will is attempting to be in control. Then, when I turn to God and release human will, it is like the morning mist and distorted images that it contains dissolving in the presence of the sunlight. Humanly, we often think of “turning to God” as a state of passiveness, when actually, it is a very active exercise.
Praying with Colossians 3:15 bring peace as it states “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”