Have you ever disrupted the peace in your home because you were afraid? I have… But I really haven’t thought much about it until just this past week.
I’ve been reading Melissa B. Kruger’s book “Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood.” The chapter “Walking in Peace”, has been a great reminder and is filled with rich teaching. The whole book is for that matter, but God so sweetly has chosen this chapter to light up the darkness of my sin and glory of His grace.
Melissa beautifully navigates the weeks study in a way that dives deep in the Truth of Isaiah 41:10.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
She gently helped me to see that,
“There is no greater threat to the peace of our homes than anxiety and fear directing our actions.”
… and the only cure is to deeply trust the Lord.
Before starting this study I would have read those words and thought, “I trust the Lord.” It must not be me affecting the stability of peace in my home. And then Melissa challenged me to stop and think about the possibility of me being an anxious person and, in taking it further, what causes my own anxiety.
For me, I’ve learned that I have a great desire to control, which is deeply seated in pride. I think I know best and when I don’t see God sovereignly giving me my own way or my trust in my self reliance begins to show it’s true weakness, then my anxiety peaks.
This was a great exercise as I don’t typically stop to think about where my heart is in any given situation. I just do. The truth is, I’ve been ignorant of my own sin.
Melissa introduced and reminded me of healthy ways to respond to this deep seated anxiety. She helped me to see that anxiety will be the battle of my soul as I fight to trust in the Lord in all things.
Through prayer, decisions made in faith, seeking God’s Word, walking in repentance, memorizing scripture and ultimately trusting the Lord, I can be in a position to rest in His peace that transcends all understanding. In this, my household benefits.
Now to apply and walk in these ways is key. Building this new muscle memory is so important. The prayer for an examined and clean heart is being prayed and rested in.
And maybe I’ve been hard on myself, knowing that I have seen how my fear and doubt in the Lord has caused my loved ones pain, but maybe this was, in a way, a sermon on the mount where Christ walks me deeper into His holiness and my need for trust.
Here are the highlights from her teaching. The marvellous truth of Philippians 4:4-9,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
1 Peter 5:6-7,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air:they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? ’ or ‘What shall we drink? ’ or ‘What shall we wear? ’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.”
and Isaiah 26:3.
“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.”
I have chosen this last verse to memorize first. I see the Truth of keeping my mind steadfast, or stayed (in this version), is so important.
Again (I’m so glad this a broken record) the song “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” rings a beautiful melody. In it I hear the hope that sings of healing and help to my soul all the day long.
Let me leave it with you and I pray that you will be encouraged.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (by Helen H. Lemmel)
Soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!