I was a thankful and happy camper this morning as my wife let me sleep in until 7:15 when she awoke needing her morning medications. Yesterday was a long day due to the fact that I had been up since 5:30 AM attending to her needs. But I did get a couple of short power naps that helped out immensely! I was in a pretty good mood today until I attempted to heat up Piper’s breakfast which has evolved into a hot drink that I’ve come to name “Cocoa-Mocha-Cinna-Boost!” It is a combination of fresh brewed coffee, a few dashes of cinnamon, a heaping tablespoon of Ovaltine and a bottle of Extra Rich Chocolate Boost Plus, topped with a sprinkling of marshmallows!
She tells me that she enjoys it and I am comforted in knowing that she is receiving a good portion of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber with an extra amount of calories that helps to keep her weight normal. The only problem this morning was that the microwave did not want to cooperate! After pushing a variety of buttons without any success, I began to get frustrated and stomped into the dining room exclaiming that “It doesn’t work anymore!” I realized at that point that my patience was on low ebb after many recent nights of minimal sleep and that I needed to pause and reset!
So I asked for the Lord’s assistance and went back into the kitchen and pulled open the “junk drawer” (you know… the one every kitchen has where all the stuff you don’t know what to do with goes…). And as I fumbled through the owner’s manuals I had stacked in the drawer, I suddenly heard the voice of our youngest daughter’s husband making a remark concerning the last ditch effort he had made when problem solving our new entertainment system when it suddenly went down a few months back.
He had laughed and commented with a chagrin on his face that he disconnected the plug from the wall for thirty seconds, plugged it back in and it reset itself… working like nothing ever happened! So with a pause and a laugh I did the same to the microwave plug… and presto! It reset itself and worked perfect again!
That got me to thinking about how many times each day that I have to reset my attitude! Then when I sat down to study the Word a few moments later, I felt that the Lord wanted me to look at the word “Peace” as used throughout the Bible. I did a quick search and discovered that in the King James Version it is referred to 429 times! And while there are various Hebrew and Greek words that have been translated into English as “Peace” the most common usage in the OT is “shalom” meaning “safe, well, happy, friendly, also welfare, that is: health, prosperity and favor.” (Strong’s) In the NT it is “eirene” defined in Thayer’s Greek Definitions as “security, prosperity, felicity” and “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”
With that last thought in mind, I realized that I find myself constantly resetting my heart and mental attitudes to line up with Papa God’s definition of “Peace” for me as His child. In the midst of stressful days like I’ve been experiencing during the last few weeks with a sudden negative spike in Piper’s situation, the acquisition of His “Peace” tends to play a major and foremost role in my physical consciousness!
I was reminded after my experience with the microwave today, that I’ve learned to be very much aware of the necessity to reset my heart and mind to filter everything through the gift of His “Peace” that Jesus Himself declared He was leaving with us! In John 14:27 He stated: “Peace I am leaving behind for you. Peace which is mine I am giving to you. Not such as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart continue to be agitated, neither let it continue to be fearful.” (The New Testament, an expanded translation by Kenneth S. Wuest)
I love that verse as I came to the understanding a few months back that Jesus is plainly telling us that it is up to each one of us TO DO or NOT DO what it says! He’s saying that He’s given us His peace, but it is a personal decision each of us has to make on a regular basis, for some… it may be multiple times a day… whether to actively believe it and walk in it or not!
With the pressure on these last couple of weeks, it is a decision that I consciously make each evening when I go to bed and first thing in the morning before my feet hit the floor! I may have experienced one of the roughest days in my life in dealing with my wife’s situation, but I still stop and look upon the Lord each evening and reset my determination, my trust in the Lord and my personal fortitude so that I will continue to “Let Not” and “Neither Let” any fear to have any hold of me!
I have had to face fear every day since that fateful night in 2007 while standing in the cleaning aisle in the Garden Department of the South Tulsa Home Depot when I received the report back from the various scans that Piper had taken the day before. Yes it shook me… Yes I had to make a beeline outside to the quiet solitude of the soils storage area in the far back of the department and try to capture some semblance of composure before going back to work… But at that moment, I turned it over to the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s - KNOWING – that the over-whelming power and possibilities of Papa God and His Word would eventually turn things around for my wife and I.
And now some nine years later… I may be tempted at times to give in… BUT I thank God for the conviction and strength that I possess to continually reset my faith, receive His PEACE and then move on to a fresh new day, with its countless fresh new possibilities that can only come from His kingdom, His will and the truth of His Word for us! That’s how I “Let Not” and “Neither Let” any fear have any way in me! I’ve seen what it can do to others when they choose to “LET” and I choose instead to reset and choose His Peace – His Life – and His Victory! How about you?
Have a great new week and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How and to what standard am I expecting to reset my faith in order to find His PEACE today?”