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

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,