What Peace? and What Heart?

…when you least expect it…

I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned what it means to strive for excellence, not perfection. And I finally know and have experienced the raw power of God’s peace.

A friend of mine once said, “I make the little decisions with my head and the big decisions with my heart. After all, that’s where Jesus is.” I’ve often pondered that statement – wondering if this was just a way to make decisions based solely on feelings or if there is a great truth in her words. I fear our society is one that often relies on feelings only – the mentality “If it feels good, do it.” This mantra is all around us – it has damaged us emotionally, physically, deep down. And Satan has so deceived us we don’t see and realize it’s happened.

But Christ does live in our hearts. He does in mine. I struggle with making it a home for him – because my heart is hard at times, it’s been let down my friends, family, co-workers, professors, bosses. And I’ve let my own heart down with my sinful actions, my words, my thoughts. But I still want my heart to be a place where Jesus feels welcome. And I’m big on Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” I believe we should be careful who we give our hearts to – who we trust and love. Who we allow into our lives. Because our hearts are precious. That’s why God wants our hearts. It is the wellspring of life.

I’ve realized I felt as though I’ve been waiting for my life to start in the last couple of years. Then words from the old John Lennon song came into my head “Life is what happened while you’re making other plans.”

Then I remembered the story of the book of Ruth. The story of a woman who was so in the centered of God’s will she followed her mother-in-law for no other reason than she knew it was what God wanted her to do. And God blessed her for doing that. And others also saw the honor in what she did.

Ruth 2:11-12

Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband-how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD , the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

When you are in the center of God’s will, there is a peace that overcomes you. And I’ve had the head-heart struggle in the last several months. My head was telling my “It’s time to leave this town and move on.” And my heart was saying, “Don’t go. I want to be here.” And I really wanted to stay. But I didn’t want to ignore my head.

Then God directed me to Philippians. The peace of God transcends all understanding. I’ve probably read that verse a thousand times. But the other night I discovered something new about that verse. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(Phil 4:7) I took out the appositive and the full force of what God does hit me right in the chest.

“The peace of God will guard my heart.”

I said this over and over, almost in disbelief. The two issues I’ve been stuggling with I didn’t think had a connection, but somehow they were connected. And God showed this to me. His word transformed me. And now I see that the center of his will is what will keep my heart at peace. For there is no other place I want to be.

What I’m listening to: Renee Fleming’s Under the Stars

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