As I worked at my desk early morning and glanced out at my hanging basket of pansies, I saw they had frozen during the night and appeared dead. At first I was saddened and felt a little irritated that I hadn’t brought the basket in. Then it dawned on me that the roots of those flowers knew nothing of freezing temperature and they were made to glorify God in their beauty. Two hours later I glanced at them and they were just as full and colorful and healthy-looking! What cannot God do?
John 14:26-27 states “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
This had been an answer to my prayer asking for inspiration to pray about a challenge! Only Good is going on!
The above is the title of an article I read recently by Marian C. English. In it she stated “Patience, free from the pressure of stress; contentment, rejoicing in abundance without excess; purity, recognizing and welcoming its own; love, willing to share its radiant warmth unselfishly–these are some of the characteristics of spiritual stillness.” I found this to be “spot on” and definitely needed this time of the year. It can be so easy to slip into “overwhelm” if we are not alert! Colossians 3:23 reads “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
The need to be still at times throughout the day is needed for me to keep my peace and harmony.
Frequently the question of how can I contribute to world peace comes to my thought. The answer always comes in the way I view others as well as myself. Am I critical of others? Am I critical of myself? The answer to both of those questions is often “Yes”. Then I ask myself, “What does God see?” Habakkuk 1:13 comes to mind and it reads “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil.” Once again, I will practice seeing through God’s/Love’s eyes which will be my small contribution to world peace.
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.