all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
The world is full of people trying to find peace. They search for it in money, reputation, mystical religions, metaphysical practices, humanism and power of positive thinking, drugs and other addictions, hobbies, logic and food-just to mention a few. Might I just say here that true peace can only come from the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, I see many Christians who have Christ but do not have His peace evident in their lives. For the last couple of months, I've been one of them. I found myself blindsided by a situation that was very difficult for me and I could not seem to find peace about it. It was not due to lack of prayer that I was not finding peace. I was pounding heaven every day, but for some reason peace was at best fleeting, here one day and gone the next. My heart was constantly in turmoil, my mind was constantly racing and eventually my faith began to be affected as well. I came to realize that lack of faith = lack of peace so I had to face the fact that something about the faith I thought I had in this situation was faulty.
Then someone stood and gave a testimony in church concerning the difference between fact and truth and how it works in our lives. It resonated deeply in my spirit and as I spent the next couple of days meditating on it God began to move on my behalf. The first thing He did was show me that I was being disobedient in my thought life concerning the solution to the situation. To rectify that, He asked me to do something that in my way of thinking, left me more vulnerable than I had been before. It was hard because I had already suffered an unbearable amount of pain, but I obeyed and did what He asked me to do. The next thing he did was remind me of a verse that gave me explicit instructions of what to do in this situation. I mean this verse was tailor made for me at that moment. I wondered why I hadn't thought of it before! I laid down and slept soundly for the first time in months.
In just one moment of decision, EVERYTHING can change both for the better or the worst. When I compare the days before and the day after I finally let go and did things God's way, it makes me stand in awe. The days before I was in an emotional tailspin charging towards a crash emotionally and spiritually. The days after I felt completely submerged, soaked and saturated in peace. The thing that causes me to marvel is that not one thing about the circumstances (the facts) had changed. But I had changed! I had come into line with the Word of God-finally and I have finally found peace!
In hindsight I realize that my reasoning in the situation was dealing only with facts, not truth and that by following that reasoning, I was being disobedient to God in my thoughts, thus explaining why I couldn't find peace. I had, by my own volition, forfeited my peace and had carried needless pain for weeks by my own efforts to fix or gain some control in the situation. What I had to realize was that I couldn't fix the situation no matter how many facts I gathered. I could only choose to believe that God was on my side with my good as His main intent and to believe that even though what He wanted me to do did not make sense, it was the truth and therefore right and good.
This is not a foreign concept to me. I've heard it preached for years. I've practiced it on much lower levels but in this situation, because of the high emotional toll it was taking on my heart, I just couldn't get quiet enough before the Lord to hear what He was saying. In that time, God still gave me strength until I got to the end of myself. When I finally cast my burden on Him, he took my burden and replaced it with His peace.
To forfeit means "to subject to seizure". I had subjected myself to the seizure of my peace by the devil. I'm not very proud of this. It takes a disturbing amount of arrogance to think that your reasonings of the facts will work better than the truth of God's Word. I literally wrestled with God on a daily basis trying to convince Him what would bring me peace. All the while, He was just trying to take my burden and give me peace but I wouldn't let go of what I thought would be best for me. But God is patient and kind and slow to anger. He quietly waited until I had exhausted all arguments and was totally exhausted myself. Like a parent who just holds tightly to a child who violently fights sleep, God just held me in a tar-baby hold until I finally grew unable to kick any longer and I settled into His loving embrace. It was then He was able to reach me.
I write this as a reminder to anyone else in this same situation. Just let go of your burden and cast it on the Lord. He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think. Even when his ways seem that they will not work, I can attest that they do. Trust Him. Believe that He is on your side. He fights for you. You are His child. He will fix everything in His time and in His way and it will right! I know things can look impossible but if you follow His leading He will not lead you astray.