Peace, Still, Overcomes Our Fears
What an odd Palm Sunday for everyone. We all are in a unique struggle to be still. For me, the greatest struggle of this stillness is my inability to stop my racing mind. However, I find that my heart is peaceful when, in this stillness, I retreat into the secret place of my heart.
This peace within is greater than what my mind may scream. A peace deep within my heart that in no way matches the reality of our confinements at home arrives. A peace, that truly, is beyond my understanding.
These days of decreased busyness, I have literally considered the lilies in our yard while contemplating the master’s workmanship of all creation. I have read in books I previously did not have time to and renewed my mind to how God is still speaking and working in our world. I made calls to check in on friends that I often have little time for in the busyness of our modern life. This busyness that we all, apparently, have grown more accustom to than stillness. It seems to unsettle us. My inner Martha wants to do something but reality says be still at the feet of Jesus, like Mary.
I have multiple moments when “mind anxiety” attempts to overtake me. Sometimes it wins. I have had great urges to just get in the car and drive like crazy. But I find that being still is the best bet at this point. At the end of each day, I find a calm peace deep within.
The oddness of today settles in my mind. It gives way to thoughts of things higher than these temporary circumstances. Some days are better than others. I am both thankful and perplexed by the contrast between my racing mind and my peaceful heart.
In former days of my faith journey, my mind always won. Honestly, I was so busy thinking and overthinking that I failed to consider the ever-present whispers in my heart. When I am forced to be still, what first presents?
Fear seems to be the response of all of us. It just manifest in differing ways. For some it is toilet paper and for some it is a restlessness from a lack of human contact - physically. If we are honest with ourselves, we can grow in this challenge. Perhaps that is why Jesus always said fear not even when reasons to fear try to overpower his promises.
James reminds us that following the way of Jesus by faith is not easy and hard days will come. But even the hard times work on our behalf and only God can do that, even if we are unable to realize it ourselves at first.
James 1:2-4 (The Passion Translation)
2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! 3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
This Holy Week 2020, week we remember and celebrate in new ways that Jesus, alone, has overcome the world and even death on our behalf. He took all sins for all humanity even for those who struggle to believe it.
When God is not working as we expect and discomfort comes, we may easily respond from our first human instinct of fear. Or, we can remember the words of Jesus and James and fear not, or at least fear-less, as this challenging time passes by. Remember, even the hard times we face are building the endurance of our faith!
Again, fear not, Easter (Resurrection) Sunday is coming. Year after year we will celebrate it until Jesus comes again. No matter how it is celebrated, the fact is that our redemption is secure and no challenge to this fact has any power over it. All power was given by God to Jesus on our behalf.
God is still on His throne with Jesus at His side. Can't you hear him speaking to Our Father on our behalf? Jesus knows us (and our fears) better than we know ourselves. He loves us as we struggle to believe in the challenging times of life. But our struggles do not negate the fact that Jesus has “save(d) us now” (“HOSANNA!”) even when we may struggle to believe!
We are lavishly loved by Our Father in Heaven, the rugged cross and empty tomb are forever the proof!
Our God's love is... UNLIMI†ED!