What does it truly mean? What does it actually feel like?
It is NOT when everything is going right on the outside, but when everything is going well on the inside.
"Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing."
James 1:2-3 AMP
When my first child, Chandler, was born I was lacking in a lot of things ... especially spiritual maturity. So was the newbie nurse on duty our first night in the hospital, who didn't check his I.V. every few minutes as she was supposed to. As a result, before he was even a day old, his left arm had swollen so that it had cut off all circulation. He was taken from me, sent by ambulance an hour away to a better hospital ... the hospital, I was told, would amputate his arm, and possibly have to cut him open to repair a bowel obstruction. I had not even had a chance to hold him yet.
There are no words in those moments. After they took him away, my father went into the bathroom and wept before getting in his truck to follow the ambulance to Macon Coliseum Hospital. My then husband did the same, later telling me he'd never prayed so hard in his life. My mother, strong as ever, stayed by my side. She later revealed to me she was extemely concerned by how calm I was. Most new mothers would've had a mini-nervous breakdown or something in this situation. Family members agreed.
But, I had PEACE!!
When they brought Chandler in and told me they were taking him to Macon, I held it together okay on the outside, but inside, I had no peace. I shattered into a million pieces. When they rolled him out the door, I cried quietly under my breath, "God, my baby, my baby..."
And in a split moment I heard the most audible, Heavenly voice I've ever heard. God said, "Casey, he's My baby, too."
That's all God said, but I cannot begin to describe the peace that washed over me, inside and out. I never shed one tear. I slept like a baby that night in the hospital, and I knew that no matter what, God had my baby ... OUR baby ... safely in His loving arms.
Five days later we were home from the hospital. No surgeries were required. God had miraculously healed my son's arm and any stomach issues he may have had going on. And, now that my son is a teenager, God's words that ushered in peace seventeen years ago have stayed with me,
"He's My baby, too!"
God will never give us more than we can handle.
However, life will ... every single chance it gets.
Hence, the need for God.
I don't know how people go through things without knowing Jesus as their personal savior. I know I probably wouldn't be here if I had not made Him Lord of my life.
This week at Mercy Carly Benton, Executive Director, shared a devotional about how we want all the benefits of Heaven, but we seldomly want Jesus to truly be our Lord. We don't want to be subject to a Heavenly Husband. We want to do things our way, but still reap all the benefits of being His Bride.
It doesn't work that way.
As I have learned to truly live for the Lord Jesus, as my Husband, I have learned to listen to His voice and to act upon what He tells me. It has brought me supernatural peace in the midst of impossible circumstances more times than I can count.
I don't know what life is going to throw at you or me in the weeks, months or years ahead. It has thrown me things so hard I thought I would break under the weight of the blow. Life is hard. It's harder when you don't have Jesus. Taking the time to build a relationship with Jesus so you can walk through life with peace when calamity does show up at your doorsteps is the smartest thing you'll ever do.
The following album from the 90's saw me through that initial time of building my relationship with Christ when I was so unsure about everything. My favorite song is at the 7 minute mark. I still listen to it when I need to be reminded how far God has brought me, and how much I've overcome. Hope it blessed you as it did me...