When circumstances keep piling up from one thing to another, where do you turn for help? Over the last couple of months, I have seen circumstances change dramatically for several of my extended family members. One family lost their Mom suddenly; well, within 6 weeks time. The other family is in a battle that we all fear – cancer. Having experienced this myself, I know how their world can be rocked to the very core.
My Mom’s diagnosis ten years ago, will forever be etched into my memory. Devastation. Overwhelming sorrow. Shock. Questions of “what to do now?” seem to be unending. But right in the midst of the storm, peace. I told my Mom the peace I was experiencing and she too felt it. It was totally unexpected. Yes, overwhelmed with a sense of great grief, but peace in the midst. This peace transcends all understanding, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippi church (Philippians 4:7).
To be at peace, no matter what happens, is just not humanly possible. It’s an act of the Holy Spirit. I experienced it during those next two months as my Mom succumbed to the natural order in which we are all called. We do not get out of this life alive, but we are appointed to die at least once. However, that was not the end of my Mom’s story; she lives today with the Lord!
With my extended family’s ordeal, I visited my beloved aunt and noticed her own peace beyond understanding. She has the unbelievable peace knowing this is not the end. She knows her eternal home. Her joy was evident when I was sitting with her. She tried to explain this peace to me. She said she felt Jesus right beside her and knew He was there in the midst of her battle. She said no matter if He called for her today or in nine months, she was ready. Peace beyond understanding.
As I turn to a new year in just a few hours, I wonder what 2020 will bring. As the year indicates, I hope it’s a year of vision. I hope I can see clearly – both physically and spiritually. It seems this last year has been one of darkness. I can’t explain this cloud that has hung over me but something has kept me from writing or even had the ability to sit quietly in the Lord’s presence. It’s been a tough year. I do not have bouts of depression. I have joy and peace most of my days. The darkness has nothing to do with me physically. I believe there is a battle in the heavens that is playing out here on earth.
2020 may be another year of darkness, but I am praying for the rays of God’s light to shine brightly through the darkness. The world has turned upside down and I don’t expect it to right itself anytime soon. With the tumultuous political climate we’re in, this year may be a difficult year for us here in the US. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I believe we’re in for quite a ride. So be ready for it. Prepare for the battle – with prayer – so that you will be at peace no matter what happens. I ask for God’s protection from this darkness. And pray consistently for His help for our nation.
I hope you are ready for the battle because it’s coming whether we’re ready or not. It could be a personal battle like my Aunt’s or a national battle that affects us all. We all come to a battle we cannot face alone. But we have One who will be in it with us just as my Aunt has experienced Him there beside her. I know God has all things under His control. He has the time of all events – life, death, Jesus returning, or the daily battles we all face – He’s got this now and forever. I trust Him to complete the work He’s started – in me, in my Aunt, in this country, and in the world. And I know His peace is for each of us to experience – beyond our understanding – now and forever.
May God’s light shine upon you and His blessings flow in you and around you for this next year. Keep focused on the His will; be obedient to His calling, and let Him use you mightily for His Kingdom throughout this New Year. Let’s move forward with His peace in this new normal and let Him get the glory. Here’s to a new decade of fruitfulness! Happy New Year!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7