You know the moment when you are barely awake in the morning, snuggled in your bed with your favorite pillow and blankets tucked around you just right. The moment when you realize you are awake but your mind drifts back to slumber and the air is cold because it's the middle of winter and you know that the warmth that is blanketed around you will quickly leave the moment you step your first foot on the floor?
That is the best description I can think of to try and explain how God's presence blankets his children with PEACE.
It is a peace that surpasses understanding because even though the world around you is cold and barren, chaotic and often even devoid of life, you are blanketed in this warm feeling that everything is going to be alright and you don't know how to truly explain that you know this except to say, that God has given you
"Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeath to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do NOT let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Stop allowing
yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful
and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled."
This peace that Jesus has left those of us that follow in his footsteps can blanket us everyday.
Even in our darkest moments his peace doesn't leave our sides.
He walks with us to those dark places and shines the light in every corner and every crevice.
He reminds us that when we open our eyes and we do step out of bed into the cold, dark world HE will be there to help us.
When I began praying about what word I wanted to choose to remind me of something all year, the word Peace just kept coming to mind. I kept thinking of people that I know and have known in my life that have exuded peace. I thought of a counselor who My Giant and I recently went to for a lil marriage tune up and how one thing that Moses said he noticed right away was how peaceful this man is.
It made me long for that to be a description someone might use about me.
And then I had a conversation with my sister Jen and we were talking about how we both really want new habits in our lives. And I was reminded of something a friend of hers once said that never really left me,
"When did Jesus stop being enough?"
It left me a little weepy as I realized all the idols I have allowed in this temple, and I longed for Jesus to be that peace once again.
I longed for my peace to come from the source of peace and balance, and goodness.
I wanted desperately to take back all the years, all the moments, that I had given someone or something else that very special place that should have only been reserved for him and him alone.
As I have gotten older and the world around me has too, I need the peace that Jesus gives now more than ever.
I have always been a bit of worry wart and the only medicine for my overly anxious heart has only ever been Jesus, but sometimes I look to people, or my circumstances or a glass of wine to be that blanket of peace and without fail I'm left wanting.
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And GOD's PEACE shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of it's salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with it's earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that PEACE that transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
This year marks 20 years of marriage.
17 years of being a parent.
40 years of being alive.
The year my brother Greg will get married.
10 years of marriage for my sister Gina.
70 years for one of my life's greatest examples of peace, my Mom.
And those are just the moments I know will happen.
For all the unknown moments are what can weigh my heart down with anxiety, and worry.
I need that blanket of PEACE that God gives, and I want to look to him before anyone or anything else.
I want to walk out knowing fully that Jesus is enough!
The only way I know how I can do this is to spend time with the Lover of My Soul and he reminds me that he really does have the whole world in his hands.
I can leave it all at his feet and he will carry my burdens.
When I'm in that blanket of peace I think of a saying my beloved Gram(the most peaceful person I've ever met) used to say;