Friday, July 24, 2009

God's Perspective and Peace

I walked along the path in a favorite serene spot of mine. Many memories came to life in my mind. It is a beautiful place of peace for me but it is peppered with points of pain. I chatted for few moments with my elderly neighbor lady. She is dealing with a multitude of medical problems as well as the reality of recently being widowed, but her demure yet strong spirit was evident when she spoke. She shared the latest news about the neighbors, catching me up on their happenings -- some happier than others.

"We all have our things we must deal with," she said softly. I agreed, and then we parted. I left thinking about portions of my pain, and the peace that I so desired, from the Lord.

I thought alot about living in the tension between our pain and peace. What do we do when a place of peace becomes a place of pain -- either partially or fully? It may be a physical location or a space in our hearts, where peace had resided, but pain has now taken up residence. How does God come in and begin to change our pain?

I believe by faith, and some by experience, that God does so by giving us perspective about Himself, ourselves, and our situation. God takes our places of pain and and gives us peace amidst them, by giving us His perspective. It may not mean that our pain will disappear. There are life long griefs that are carried -- the loss of a loved one, wounds from the past, serious medical illnesses, betrayal, abandonment, abuse.

However, dear reader, God comes in and takes hold of our face, between His powerful yet gentle hands and asks us to look at Him, only at Him and receive the peace He has for us. He shows us Who He is, how much He loves us, and what we need to know about the plans that He has for us.

In John 16:33 Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Many of us would not deny that there is trouble. Spending time with my neighbor shed light on only a few of the burdens that people are enduring, but Jesus reassures us. He has overcome these troubles in this world. Our suffering is not uncommon to man, nor to Jesus, who is acquainted with our grief, and yet Whom is also the balm for our sorrow. We can take heart and have hope.

I don't know if I will ever fully understand it, this side of heaven. God offers us His perspective, amidst our pain. It is here that we see Him clearer, feel His presence nearer and love Him dearer. Take heart, dear reader. God is doing something amidst your pain, and when you trust in Him in the process, He will give you peace, for He Himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).

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