I think I made one of my first East Coast mistakes this morning! When I opened up the blinds around 7:45 I looked outside and noticed that it was lightly raining. I also observed that my upside down tomato plant hanging under the shelter of the overhang above our patio was looking very thirsty. So without much thought I filled a container with water and stepped outside in my shorts and T-shirt, absentmindedly thinking with my California mind, that it usually warms up when it rains… right? Well, whoa… Not here in North Carolina! I felt the blast of damp artic air at about the same time I looked up to the large outdoor thermometer we have posted on one of the patio supports that read below thirty degrees! Even the dog was smart enough to stay cuddled up on her warm chair and not join me outside.
Needless to say, I quickly watered the plant and stepped back inside where I numbly poured myself a cup of hot coffee! That chilling experience caused me to realize that I am going to have to rethink, reorganize and re-clothe my winter lifestyle. Later on as I thawed out at the kitchen table, I also learned of another area in which I was going to have to rethink my normal pattern of behavior.
I recently purchased a used copy of Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible which was first published in 1879. Wikipedia best sums up the majority of the reviews of this work by stating that “Although Strong’s is more popular and has its strengths, Young’s is better for word studies due in part to the way it analyzes English words.” Many times various Greek and Hebrew words are translated by one English word. Young’s will show all the original language words in the Bible that are translated by the one English word and then lists all the various verses that use the different Greek or Hebrew words.
It was when I was studying out Philippians 4:7 while employing the Young’s bible study tool that I realized another personal rethink was needed! The King James Version tells us that after we Always, to Everyone, Never and in Every situation (see yesterday’s blog post) do what He tells us to do that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When I got to the word “passeth” I re-familiarized myself with Strong’s definition of “to excel or be superior to” and then grabbed the big, heavy Young’s book with both hands and swung the cover over to the two pages that describe the various usages of this word and discovered that in this verse the term literally meant “to hold over.” The immediate picture that popped into my head was two fold in nature. First that God’s peace is something that is way over or beyond my natural understanding, and secondly, as The Free Dictionary online puts it, “is something that is too deeply involved for someone to handle or something beyond what one can deal with.”
Godly peace brings us into an entirely higher dimension than that of the physical world around us. It is a realm that is totally beyond our comprehension and it is accessible and available ONLY as we are “in union with Christ Jesus,” as the Good News Bible declares in Philippians 4:7.
I can think of many times in my past responsibilities in the various management positions that I have held in both the secular and sacred fields when I felt like I was in way over my head… and believe me it is not a very comfortable position! Ever been there? It is also something that I have often have felt myself facing as I have been forced to deal with the various aspects of my wife’s health battle. But I have also become very much aware and more and more expectant of how everything just seems to come together (often when I least expect it to) as I yield my needs to Papa God and delve deeper into my union with Christ Jesus.
His answers and the ways in which He performs His Word are way beyond or above my comprehension, so the only thing I (and you as well) can do is simply focus my full attention on His faithfulness to His Word and then watch His love unfold before me! My lesson learned this morning was to not even make any attempt to try and figure out the “How’s and Why’s” of His peace, but to quickly and completely yield the need and any thoughts about it over to Him so that I can quickly step up through the limits of my own understanding and into the unlimited, infinite dimension of the fullness of God. (See Ephesians 3:19-20)
So again I have to laugh as I see that it is now twelve noon our time, the sun is shining brightly and the thermometer has climbed to a toasty forty degrees. Yup… things are different now, but after my shock this morning I am more prepared for the changes ahead. I am also more prepared to walk in God’s peace as I face each and every new day ahead! How about you? Don’t get caught in your shorts (physically as well as spiritually) and find yourself freezing in the face of the events of your daily life!
Have a great, warm and fully prepared weekend! Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s PEACE am I expecting to walk in today?”