LENT: PEACE

Peace and the coronavirus don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. Being married to a Pediatric ER and Pediatric Infectious Disease doctor has its perks. I️ can have a conversation with WebMD live access across the dinner table. No need to binge on Grey’s Anatomy to find answers to my looming questions…I can roll over in bed anytime and with a tap of the shoulder, have some kind of reply. At times of the pandemic coronavirus, such access comes in handy! And most importantly, it gives me peace.

But it’s got me thinking…if my husband can answer my questions on the COVID-19, how much more so can God? My husband has his limitations. He cannot foresee the future. He doesn’t know when or if a cure will come. His knowledge does have a finite capacity, even though his knowledge exceeds mine.

During times of uneasiness, we quickly jump to get answers and watch the news for hours straight. With pantries stocked and kids at home, we wonder “What in the world will we do?” We can feel the anxiety looming nearby, so here are some tips to help it reside.

3 Tips to Find Peace:
  1. God is always available! Ps. 121:4 reminds us, “Behold, the Protector of Israel will not slumber or sleep.” When we feel anxious thoughts start penetrating in, we can go to God in prayer. We can ask Him to help us, knowing full-well that He will hear. He never takes a nap or is too weary to respond. We can trust that God is always available to hear our heart’s cry.
  2. God has given us access! Eph. 2:18-19 tells us, “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” This is so huge, y’all! The barrier to accessing God our Heavenly Father has been removed. We can go to Him at any time. We don’t have to have all of our ducks in a row or look pretty-pretty. Even when our emotions run amok, we can go to God. As a believer, we can ask God anything. He is present. He is waiting. Why don’t you try talking to Him?
  3. God is in control! Ps. 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I️  will be exalted among the nations, I️  will be exalted in the earth!” The best stress reliever is to let God be God. By doing so, we surrender our daily plans to Him and leave room for peace. Our minds will be the battlefield as we fight to make this choice. Will we let God be God or fight Him for the reigns? The first step to serenity in your life is to “Let Go” and allow God to do things His way. 
The Controllers & The Resigners

When we face out-of-control situations, we tend to respond in one of two ways: The Controllers or The Resigners. The Controllers crackdown and raise their fists, with determination they’re assured they’re going to win. They demand that things be done their way, and anyone who gets in their way will be taken out. The fighter, the warrior, and the challenger fall here…these are the people to avoid at Costco or Walmart. If there’s only one case of water remaining, you might as well let them have it. The Controllers have a difficult time allowing God to lead. But on the other hand, we have The Resigners who give up way too soon. They tend to be the Debbie-Downers who keep their heads in quicksand. They focus on the negative and throw a big ole’ pity party. Despair, doubt, worry, and anxiety occupy their guest rooms.

Neither of these responses is good. They vacillate between lawn mowing (ie., hyper controlling) and playing the victim. Both are foolish responses to out-of-control situations because ultimately we are not the ones in control. We will lose sleep and threaten our health the longer we don’t relent. Only God is in control. He is in control of everything. The weather, our kids, our spouse, and dog…and any and every annoying inconvenience. He knows our tomorrow, and our today. He knows everything and freely gives peace.

We will be in conflict with God the longer we try to play (g)od.

The Serenity Prayer for Peace:

God, give me the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.