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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Peace

I'm not really a resolution's kinda girl.  Yes, I know it's March and I am talking about resolutions.  But this year, I was a bit more purposeful about taking a look at where I was with God and where I hope to go in 2016.  It didn't take long to figure out that the thing I crave most in my Christian life is… Peace of mind.

I long to know what it feels like to rest in the goodness of my Savior.  Really rest, not just sit poised to jump up and tend to what ever needs tending too. Insert picture of Mary, lounging at the feet of Jesus.  But no, this won't be a "I can't help that I am a Martha" story.   I do have some of Martha's good qualities and bad but at the same time I have some Mary in me too.  What I need is a good healthy does of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego! (Betcha didn't see that one coming!) 

A friend stopped by yesterday, (very berry hibiscus refresher made with lemonade instead of water in hand, thank you, dear friend) and we sat and chatted about life. My mind was spinning, analysing  the current situations in life from every possible view point.  Have I done all I can do, have I dotted every "i" crossed every "t"?  My head knows that God loves me. Period. But the rest of me still operates in the "if you do good" gear.  Can I just say it is exhausting.  Trying to do everything just so.  Trying to make sure that I have preformed my way in the the "Blessing" line of Heaven. TRUTH: There is no blessing line in Heaven.  I am afraid, my friend, got more than she bargained for.  I was like a blender, running at full speed with the lid off. Varying topics spattering all over her.  This is NOT the peace and joy I seek. 

She made the comment "You don't even smell of smoke." Huh? She went on to explain that like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, the past 10 years have had Rod and I in the fiery furnace but no one knows because we don't even smell of smoke.  "No one would guess what you have been through" she said.  She was paying me a complement. I agree, there are days, maybe even weeks at a time that I feel like that fine trio of fellas.  In the midst of the fire, but confident in my God and so there isn't even the smell of smoke.  But those days are followed by me hopping around like a crazy person trying to stomp out the flames, the smell of burnt hair, covered in soot and flinging ash in every direction.   In fact, there are some days that I am like that tree, planted by the river drinking in the goodness of God when I suddenly "stop, drop and roll" for no apparent reason.  Just waiting for my world to come crashing in because I recklessly bought a box of cereal that was $.18 per/oz vs. the budgeted $.14 per/oz. Oh no! I haven't been a good steward! Look out! In coming lightening bolts!

I want to be like S.M. & A. (aka: Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-Nego).  Confident in God's love.  Confident in His Grace. Confident in His mercy and confident in his GOODNESS.   I want to know that the God whom I serve is able to deliver me, not because I am earning it by being good but because HE IS GOOD. 
I want to walk through the firery furnaces of my life and the not so fiery furnaces with no smell of smoke! 

Now please understand me, I am not saying  I want to go through life and have everyone around me think that my life is one green pasture after another.  I want people to look at me, see fire all around me and see me and the one that "looks like the Son of God" walking around in the midst of the fire. 

This morning I was looking over my journal notes for the last week and I noticed that on 3 separate occasions the same verse in a couple of different versions made its way into my journal.  Isaiah 26:3.

March 1st - the girl's devotions.  "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you."
March 3rd - Women's Bible Study "The steadfast of mind you will keep in perfect peace."
There is it.  I just have to figure out how to have a steadfast mind!  Strong and tenacious.  We decided to dig a little further in our study and one of the girls looked up the original word for "steadfast" and it's meaning.  "To lean, lay, rest, uphold, lean upon."  WHAT?  Those who lean on God will be kept in perfect peace? That seems too easy.  I can lean.  Or can I?
March 7th - Personal quiet time… there it is again.  

Do you think the Lord has a message for me?  S.M. & A. knew what it truly meant to lean on God. Good times and bad.  They had confidence in who God is and confidence in who they were in Him.  

That is my pray for this year!  That the God of hope will fill me with joy and peace as I TRUST in HIM. And so I will remind myself to lean on Him and remind myself that I am his masterpiece, his bride and that He LOVES me. $.18 per/oz cereal and all.
How grateful I am that the Lord has searched me and knows me.  He knows when I sit down and I when I rise up and when I freak out and He understands my every thought!  He gets me! AND… He encloses me behind and before, and has laid his hand upon me.  As David said "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me!"

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