Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
When adversity becomes a part of our life, it is so easy to plead with God to remove it. If and when that doesn’t work, we might get angry and certainly try to find our own way out of the trouble. In my case it becomes my job to change the direction of the adversity, I’m to be in control and see to it!
I recently had an experience with adversity as described above. Illness in my family had put much of my life in control of others—doctors, nurses, hospitals and their schedules. My orderly life had become decidedly disorderly and I was fighting it every step of the way trying to wrest control back. As I was stewing one day, my daughter said, “You seem really weary, Mom.” I suddenly realized I was, so I took some quiet time to reflect and during that self imposed quiet, deep within me the words came: “You must come to terms with life’s unfairness. You cannot be in a constant struggle that will use up your energy and stunt your spiritual growth, you need to use your energies to give life.” I knew I was being told that I was not in control, that is God’s job.
As I continue down this path and become overwhelmed again, I know there are three graces that I seek from God. First: I need to ask God to let me rest quietly in his peace, the one he gave to me, and let His Spirit whisper soothingly to me. Second: I ask God to assure me that he will give me what I need. My faith tells me that he will, of course, but when I’m overwhelmed by adversity, I need that reassurance from God in order to make it through another day. Third: I ask God to bequeath a new spirit into this overwrought body, to help me daily turn my life back over to Him and to acknowledge that I am not the source of my creative spiritual energy. When I am filled with God’s peace and energy I will make it through another day, even in the midst of strife.
I’m reminded of the beautiful Psalm 40 in which David tells of waiting for God and then gives a public accounting of his deliverance:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth
a song of praise to our God….