Since the accident, I've been through some circumstances that did devastate me. I struggled and fought to find peace and in that struggle I felt that if I could just understand the "Why's" and "How's" of what was happening, then I could make some sense of them and have peace. Subconsciously, our humanness tells us that if we understand something, then we can, through cognitive means, affect or change it which in my case would mean I could get through it, come to terms with it, maybe even affect it in some way and find peace.
But understanding did not come. And peace was nowhere to be found. My life was totally out of control and there was nothing I could do about it except to remind myself to keep breathing. So I did the only thing I could do. I ran to Jesus. I ran hard and fast and plastered myself against Him and He wrapped His loving arms around me and told me something that was hard for me to accept. He told me that it wasn't necessary for me to understand right then. I just needed to listen, obey and trust Him. I just needed to believe what He had spoken to me and what I had spoken to others from the very beginning of all of the craziness. I just needed to believe that He would bring me through and that my life would be happy and fulfilled again and all that Satan had stolen from me would be returned. I realized that understanding what was going on in the natural was not going to change anything. Satan is the author of confusion. You can't make sense out of his insanity. I realized that only God could change things and I believed that He would.
He taught me to focus on and pray about the real source of my struggle. In reality what I was experiencing in my life was the result of a spiritual battle that was raging in the heavenlies. Ephesians 6:12 plainly tells us:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
That is a hard thing to remember when you are caught right smack in the middle of it and evil is lurking all around you. We tend to focus on people or circumstances. That's when we get into trouble. But if we discipline ourselves to look at things from God's perspective, there is always hope. He is always up to something good, even in the midst of the chaos. And we are never alone or left without direction and comfort. And He is ALL-mighty! Knowing that I stood on the side of righteousness and truth brought me great comfort and confidence.
At the scene of the accident I heard the doctor say that two of my children were unresponsive. At that time, I was being dragged out of my vehicle and was completely weak and wobbly. But when I heard that, all the days I had prayed for them flashed before my eyes. All the things God had shown me about His desires for them ran across my field of vision and a voice that was deep inside of me screamed in my ear, "that can't be!" Immediately I was in full control and I ran to them and prayed and rebuked the spirit of death hanging over my children. Of all the people that witnessed it, I was the most surprised.
This also happened to me just a few years ago as I was confronting someone about a situation that was clearly out of my control. Just as it had been at the scene of the accident, all the prayers I had prayed, all the work and sacrifice I had willingly given for the Lord, flashed across my mind and although I was seemingly just as helpless as I was in the field where I crashed with my children, I boldly declared that God would intervene on my behalf and change would come.
But as the situation went on and grew increasingly worse, I began to seek understanding above just standing in faith out of a need to relieve my own pain and to try to un-wedge myself from a situation where I felt that my life was being held hostage. I was stuck somewhere that I didn't want to be. I forgot that it's more important to focus on what's happening in me, what God is saying to me, than what was happening outside of me that I could not control.
From the very beginning, the Lord had given me Psalm 130:7-8 which says:
Israel, wait for the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. 8 And He will redeem Israel From all his guilty deeds."
The phrase "abundant redemption" resonated in my soul. There were other things too. A prophetic word given to me about my life and how the Lord would provide. At the time, it didn't make sense but it all came flooding back in amazing accuracy as things unfolded before me. And also a prophecy that was given in church where the Lord assured me that He would breathe life into something that was dead, that HE alone was my source and only solution. These things, although they brought little understanding, sustained me when I focused on them instead of what was going on around me. There were many, many times of sweet fellowship with Jesus where I felt Him hiding me in the cleft of the rock as the storm and the battle raged all around me. Many nights I felt Him wrap me in Himself as I slept under the weighted blanket of His love. And each and every day, the Lord gave me promises from His Word instructing me in my prayers, comforting me in my sorrow and fear, and giving me courage to believe for what seemed impossible.
So today, as I listened to that song, I realized that peace is something I can have even when I don't understand. God's peace is higher and beyond all understanding. It is superior to understanding. Paul and Silas experienced this in prison. The three Hebrew children experienced it in the fiery furnace. Stephen experienced it as he was being stoned to death. The early church experienced it in the midst of the coliseum while lions tore away at their bodies as their spirits went on to Glory. Peace is God's provision, to be obtained through faith, in the most horrible times of life. Not only did Jesus die on the cross to bring about peace with God but also to give us peace IN God through the power of His Holy Spirit living inside us.
True peace comes through Christ alone. Hebrews talks of a sabbath rest. When Christ died on the cross, He stated, "It is finished." Everything that we need to have peace and rest in this life no matter our circumstances, was purchased there for us in that moment of His torment. Therefore, we can live in tumultuous times and have constant, deep peace within.
I feel peaceful at times without the Lord like when I settle in on the back porch with a good book, when I turn off my cell phone for a few hours, or when I walk in the woods and sit by a stream, but feelings of peacefulness are not true peace because feelings are fleeting, temporary, variable, and sporadic. They are dictated by our surroundings. They provide a provisional relief, but do not have the longevity nor depth of everlasting, constant peace that only comes from God.
True peace, God's peace, can only be found in a living, loving relationship with Jesus Christ and when you have that, peace is ever-present because the Prince of Peace now lives in you. His peace truly does pass all understanding, no matter what you are going through. It's a peace that doesn't make sense but it doesn't have to. It is far above the need to understand. Understanding resides in the mind of God and if we seek Him will come to us in His time and in His way, but until that time, there is peace.
If you do not have this peace in your life and would like to, comment below. I would love to talk to you about a personal relationship with the Prince of Peace. He said that "ye must be born again" to enter into His Kingdom of Peace. Would you like to join me there?