Skip to main content

What has your inner peace troubled?

There are times when I manage to "settle" the world around me - clearing off my desktop, managing to get all the i's dotted and t's crossed at the end of the day.  That doesn't necessarily mean the world 'inside' me is settled, though!  At times, even when the outside looks pretty organized and like all is running smoothly, the inside can be a total disaster with a jumble of troubling thoughts and things mulling over in there repeatedly. You probably know what I mean - keeping up appearances on the outside is kind of important for some of us!  Truth is - we cannot do it for very long and be very convincing about how we are really doing on the inside!  I think there are just times when we need to "come clean" about the inner turmoil so we can finally be in a place where God can actually help us to get is "settled down"!

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure. God saves me and honors me. He is that mighty rock where I find safety. Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns.  God is our place of safety.  (Psalm 62:5-8 CEV)

Inner peace is something which evades many more of us more than we would be comfortable admitting.  If we were to be entirely honest here - there are times and places of inner turmoil we have been keeping 'under wraps' for a while, believing we honestly have it all under control.  Those around us - those who truthfully care about us - they know otherwise!  They can read us like a book!  It took just a couple of words this week from a faithful friend to pull me out of my 'cover up' - those words were quite simple, but oh so effective.  They weren't even "spiritual" as you might think of them, but they cut to the chase.  What were they?  "You look a little harried."  Short and sweet - I looked like life was "annoying me", placing me under some kind of constant attack, or like I was "worrying" something over and over again deep inside.

She was right!  I was a little harried - not so much on the outside, but definitely on the inside.  You might ask if I was trying to juggle too much at one time and the answer would be "no".  You might think I was under some kind of ominous spiritual attack, feeling the pressures of tremendous inward struggle, and the answer would be "no".  So, what was the deal?  I was internalizing the struggles of my department - the adjustments to new roles and responsibilities which were bringing discomfort to all of us and causing all of us to be on kind of shaky ground.  Our team was being broken apart again by shifts in job responsibilities, losing another member of our team we had come to appreciate and feel very deeply for.  It wasn't as though we hadn't been through this before, it was just that we had finally settled into our team and were really "clicking".  Now the team was being disrupted once again - something which has been a "constant" for about two years - and we were all struggling with it.

I had internalized the struggles of my team - something you might not think is all that bad since it means I deeply care for each and every one of them.  Yet, it was not my responsibility to carry that burden!  In fact, it squarely belonged on the shoulders of Jesus and not mine!  After those well spoken words from my good friend, I stopped to consider where I was at with things - if I couldn't do that, I'd crawl deeper into the hole I was digging internally.  It took about a day, but in conversation with the one who really should be handling all this (Jesus), I began to let go and allow him to restore the internal peace which I had allowed to be disturbed by internalizing all the emotions of the moment.  The struggles with the disruption of the team will continue until we settle into our life as it is to be moving forward, but at least the internal struggle with this is now in the hands of the one who can help me walk through it with courage and fortitude.

We often do this "internalizing" quicker and easier than you might imagine - taking on the "emotions of the moment" as though we could do something about them.  Truth is, many of those things are totally out of our control and we can merely grieve our loss, but we cannot change the course of what has occurred.  Grief is something we must work through ourselves and then as a team - each at our own pace - but if we internalize it too long, it will dig a pretty big pit into which we will find ourselves crawling deeper and deeper! Add to grief all the uncertainty of change and the pit gets pretty ominous.  What we often need most is to squarely hand the shovel over to Jesus!  If we don't have the shovel, we cannot dig the pit!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…