During the storm thinking muddles and I battle fear and pain. Once the storm passes, peace settles in the atmosphere. The sky clears to a bright blue. I survey the debris. The actions needed fall into place. God provides the tools I need and I get back to work.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The fury of the storm hit Milly’s Realm with full force this week. Over the last several months, my path included steep climbs, inclement weather, pitfalls, switchbacks, and wrong paths. My writing has suffered, but more importantly, my walk with the Lord suffered.
It is hard to trust in the Lord when fear edges into the journey. Lately, I’m afraid of choosing a builder, designing our home, making wrong choices, and not being healthy enough to live the future and the hope God has promised me.**
There has been another struggle between the Lord and me. I have been avoiding reading the scriptures about Jacob since I studied Joseph last year. I knew I needed to read Jacob’s story, but I was afraid. There is a part of Jacob’s story I don’t like to read. It is his marriage to his love Rachel.
Jacob works for seven years for Laban for the right to marry Rachel, but Laban tricks him into marrying Leah. I feel bad for Leah because Jacob loves her sister, not her. Anyway, to marry Rachel he must work another seven years. If I was in Jacob, Rachel, or Leah’s shoes, I would be resentful.
My fear is God wants me to continue working longer. I want to speed ahead to my earliest retirement date. The thought of staying where I work longer is discouraging. I want to live my dream so badly that I push the thought away and avoid what God is telling me to read: Jacob. Several years ago I fought reading the Book of Job in the same way and look at the blessings studying Job has become.
Last night I gave in and read the first three chapters (Genesis 25-27). I read all about his birth and the prophecy given to his mother, Rebekah. Then, I continued through Esau selling his birthright to Jacob, and Rebekah and Jacob’s deceit to get Isaac’s blessing. I don’t like the lies in this part of the story. Jacob was a successful man. God blessed the work of his hands. What is the purpose of lying? The New Testament scriptures read:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. [Romans 8:28*]
I’m left with these questions: Is it wrong to lie? Is it okay to lie? Does God direct us to lie? Does God use the wrong (the lie) we do for good despite the sin? In starting this study, I now have a lot of questions!
After reading, I sat down, determined to work on Buried Secrets. Until last night, I have written nothing since my last post. I have not worked on Buried Secrets since February. I prayed for help as I put Chapter ten into the draft manuscript, I hoped I would remember the story. Once I finished transferring the chapter, I felt the Spirit nudge me to reread the chapter out loud.
Even though it was getting late, I reread the chapter. Guess what happened? As I read the errors I have trouble finding, like ‘will’ instead of ‘well,’ popped out at me. I corrected a bunch of errors and got my head back on the storyline.
This morning, though my mom, God gave me two gifts. The first was John 14:27. I have not read this passage in a long time. The entire chapter is amazing. A healing sensation flowed over me. The second gift she gave is a morning meditation.
I have been looking for a meditation to connect me with God in the morning. Traditional meditations, focusing on my breath, a word, or body parts, don’t work for me. I get frustrated when I can’t stay focused or I fall asleep. This is not a great way to start my day! Praying always worked better for me. It connects me to God and takes action at the same time! You know how much I love multi-tasking! Prayer does that for me.
This meditation differs from other ways of starting my day. When I tried it this morning, I sat with my coffee and settled my spirit. Then I followed my mom’s instructions:
“Just sit in a chair and breathe. As you think about it, just breathe out all that junk, visualize it going out of your system and then breathe in God’s peace, and visualize that coming into your whole body (She is referencing God’s peace and John 14:27 for me here. Choose God’s focus for you today). Do that a number of times until you feel calm and at peace. At that point you can pray and ask God to help you remain calm and at peace. Sometimes our mind is just racing and we have to stop it and realize how much God loves us.”
Doing this meditation settled my soul. The storm has subsided. Now, John 14:27 describes my spirit today: I am at peace and I am not troubled or afraid.
I pray you find your peace in the storm today.
God bless you,
*All references are from the New King James Version.
** The promise comes from Jeremiah 29:11