A PIECE OF PEACE

Activated - - NEWS - By Michele Roys

Have you ever had one of those days where it seemed like the world was against you, and where it looked like ev­ery­thing that could go wrong, went wrong? It was Fe­bru­ary 29, a day that only comes ev­ery four years. Look­ing at a list of things that had fallen on my sched­ule for that day, it seemed as though the day had been schem­ing for the past four years to en­sure that it would fit four days' worth of tasks into 24 hours!

First, an exam was un­ex­pect­edly resched­uled for the af­ter­noon, when I had the kids to my­self, and I had to ar­range for some­one to care for them so that I could make it down­town to take the exam. I had also been hav­ing si­nus prob­lems that week and a se­vere headache that day, which made mov­ing around hard, let alone think­ing! I needed to re­view ten separate mod­ules, as we weren't told what the exam was go­ing to cover.

In the mid­dle of it all, my mother was ar­riv­ing from Brazil on a visit, land­ing about the time I would be sit­ting for my two-hour exam. She'd left her cell phone at home and hadn't replied to my in­creas­ingly fran­tic emails over the past five days. The air­port where she would be land­ing was three hours away from our house. I needed her to con­tact us, so that we could fig­ure out how we could pick her up.

That same even­ing—if I sur­vived the rest of the day—I was sched­uled to at­tend a choir re­hearsal at a church down­town, as our choir was go­ing to be per­form­ing in just two days to open the In­ter­na­tional Choral Festival—a big event in Ire­land! I needed to fin­ish learn­ing two Pol­ish songs, as well as verses in Latin, English, and Ital­ian, all be­fore that even­ing!

I was on the verge of tears and es­caped to my room for a mo­ment to gather my thoughts. My hus­band came in and saw my state. He of­fered to pray for me, and I, of course, didn't

turn him down. As I lis­tened to his prayer, he said some­thing that caught my at­ten­tion: “Help her to find peace and know that You will work it all out for good.” 1 How can I find peace? I won­dered. I knew that I couldn't find that

peace my­self and that I needed to pray to give all that was on my heart and mind to God. I be­gan my prayer by stat­ing how frus­trated I felt, how the aches and pains were get­ting to me, how scared I was of the day's un­knowns. I spelled out ev­ery pos­si­ble as­pect of that day in that prayer, ex­press­ing in de­tail to God how I needed peace and surcease from the day's stress. I asked Him to give me some sign that He would help me, as at that mo­ment I didn't know how I was even go­ing to be able to drive all the way down­town in the state I was in.

A Bible pas­sage sud­denly popped into my head: “I am leav­ing you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world can­not give. So don't be trou­bled or afraid.”

2 I won­dered how that was go­ing to help me work out my day, but I de­cided to ask Jesus to give me that “peace” that He promised, even though at the mo­ment I still felt frus­trated and un­cer­tain. As I started to think more about that, an amaz­ing thing hap­pened. All of a sud­den, I was no longer frus­trated about all that was pre­vi­ously go­ing on in my mind. I don't know how to ex­plain it, ex­cept to say that I just felt “lighter.” The peace that I was con­tem­plat­ing just took over my mind and spirit, and the feel­ing was al­le­vi­at­ing, al­most like walk­ing on air. The pres­sure that had been

caus­ing so much strain di­min­ished and I felt calm. My mind was clear. All I had done was pray and take a few min­utes to think about the verse that popped into my mind, and that sim­ple act took me to a whole new thought process.

I was amazed at the power of God, as I started get­ting ready to head out the door. Once in the car, I prayed that God would help that feel­ing to stay with me, be­cause it felt so good! I re­mem­ber think­ing, I’m not pan­ick­ing any­more. I’m not on the verge of tears any­more. This is so great!

And here is how the rest of the day played out, which once again re­minded me that God doesn't let us down:

I got down­town and was able to find a park­ing space eas­ily. Even though it was a gloomy day, it wasn't rain­ing, which is great for Ire­land! I made it to the build­ing where I was to take my exam about 20 min­utes early, and had the op­por­tu­nity to talk with my teacher. I ex­plained about my headache and that I was hop­ing I would pass my exam. She told me she was very sure I'd do well, which was en­cour­ag­ing.

Sure enough, as I worked my way through the exam, I was happy to re­al­ize that I knew most of the an­swers. I was one of the first to fin­ish, and on my way home, my mom called to say she had ar­rived safely and had caught a bus from the air­port to our town, where a mu­tual friend picked her up and dropped her off at our house.

A text came in from an­other friend who said I could hitch a ride with her to our re­hearsal down­town. An­other piece of good news! The re­hearsal went well, and for those three hours my head was only hurt­ing rather than throb­bing, which made it eas­ier to con­tend with.

It was nearly mid­night by the time I got back home and headed for bed. My hus­band had waited up for me, and I thanked him for pray­ing for me. I also thanked God for help­ing me to find His peace, which amaz­ingly made my chaotic day turn out all right.

The next day, I read up on the bi­b­li­cal mean­ing of the word “peace.” I found that the Old Tes­ta­ment mean­ing of peace was “com­plete­ness, sound­ness, and the well-be­ing of the to­tal per­son.” In the New Tes­ta­ment, peace of­ten refers to “in­ner tran­quil­ity, a com­bi­na­tion of hope, trust, and quiet in the mind and soul.”

3 I was amazed when I re­al­ized that was ex­actly how I had felt the pre­vi­ous day! Peace is re­ally just faith, trust­ing that God will work ev­ery­thing out—some­how.

If you find your­self hav­ing “one of those days”—and hope­fully it won't come more of­ten than ev­ery leap year or so—just pray and ask God to give you His peace, and then let Him take con­trol. You will be amazed at the solutions He will bring and the peace He will give you. “Then you will ex­pe­ri­ence God's peace, which ex­ceeds any­thing we can un­der­stand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

4

Michele Roys is a so­cial en­tre­pre­neur and mother of two re­sid­ing in Ire­land.

3. Bob Ed­wards, Liv­ing Up in a Down World: Liv­ing Life Grace “Fully,” pg 21 4. Philip­pi­ans 4:7 NLT

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