Photos from a MLK Day flume hike with my three favorite peeps.
I've given quiet a bit of thought this past year to how Jesus exited the earth for heaven; about how He gave us Himself in the Holy Spirit, and then gave us one more gift- Peace.
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
Here's how The Message says it-
"The Friend, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left- feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught."
A year ago I was, in many areas, the opposite of peace. It was a struggle that was deep; my soul was easily rattled~
Rattled by insecurity.
Rattled by a few relationships.
Rattled by health issues.
Rattled by financial difficulty.
Rattled by comparison.
"I'm leaving you well and whole"...SIGN ME UP!
The moment I signed up for Peace I sensed the Spirit saying' "Let's do this!"
"Let's do this" -Thank God He doesn't leave us to figure things out on our own.
His Spirit lead(s) me through Peace; when the time was right revealing areas where "well and whole" needed to be formed in me.
He didn't waste a moment, and to start 2013 had me reading "So Long Insecurity" (You've been a bad friend to me) by Beth Moore. Through the book I came face to face with ache from relationships. Lies I'd bought about myself were brought to light. More importantly, lies I'd ruminated on about others were brought to my attention.
I could share with you the nasty details of the crap about me and other people that's sloshed around in my head, but I won't. It's a daily choice to keep the lid on that can-of-worms, so I should not open it.
Beth pointed out the following scripture, which has helped me keep that lid on-
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor."
She points out that the Hebrew meaning for honor is dignity, and adds that we have dignity because God Himself gave it to us.
Moore also points out this important tidbit-
"Notice that God didn't put this honor/dignity in our hands. He put it on our heads. He wrapped it as a crown right around our minds, just where we need it most. Our possession of dignity is not always something we feel. IT'S GOT TO BE SOMETHING WE KNOW. SOMETHING WE EMPHATICALLY CLAIM."
Are you getting that? No one and no thing can take your God-given dignity- your security from you.
It IS YOURS.
I've done it~
I've been with people whose very presence usually undoes me -not necessarily because of any fault of their own, but most often because of those lies I mentioned above that I ruminate on. Instead of ruminating, I take a deep breath, into my soul, and choose "no one can take away my God given dignity/security."
I've looked at the numbers in the bank account getting nearer and nearer to the red, and
repeated "nothing can take away my God given dignity/security. Nothing can take away my God given dignity/security. Nothing can take away my God given dignity/security."
I've been in tears, aching from physical pain, and instead of shaking my fist "why," the Spirit reminded "I have been crowned with glory and dignity," and no circumstance has permission to take away my security.
The Spirit knew that claiming this Truth would provide me with what I'd need to continue the journey to Peace for 2013
God also provided me with one more sweet gift for the journey when Kat from Simply Silly Life surprised me with her word of the year Peace necklace! Kat also prayed for and encouraged me throughout the year.
Her necklace became a tangible way for me to grab hold of Peace.
On days I wanted to throw in the towel I'd reach for the necklace; reach for it like it was armor, and strap it on, repeating "Let the Peace of Christ rule in your heart."
Other days when peace came easily, I'd gently clasp it on. I loved that it hung on my chest, near my heart. I'd breath in the Peace that is mine. Breath it deep into my soul; my very being, and consider "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you." Isaiah 26:3
I want peace for you. I want YOU to know that you are crowned in glory and dignity; crowned in security. I pray as you read you will see the Living God actively involved in the life of His children. I pray that you see Him provide Himself, and that you see Him leading, equipping, and healing. I pray that you will be nudged (or full on shoved- if that is what is needed ;) ) to grab hold of the PEACE THAT IS YOURS in Jesus.
May God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, Who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus,the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, Who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, Now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please him, Make us into what gives him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! Oh, yes, yes, yes. Hebrews 13:21
In the next post I'll share about the most difficult leg of the journey to Peace. The one that wrecked me.
Live in Peace!