“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” –Colossians 3:15
You are running late for an appointment and turn down the wrong street. You are headed out the door when you spill coffee all over your favorite sweater and now must change. You go to turn on your car for church and the battery is completely and totally dead. The principal calls to say your child was disrespectful at school. Your adult child tells you she no longer believes in God. Your husband loses his job. A nurse calls you from the hospital to say your sister is being admitted to the hospital via emergency room.
Our lives are full of things that can cause us to gain stress and lose peace. We can go into a valley for a short time or it may be for a season. Many times in my short life, I’ve found myself saying, “But, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way!”
Often, we want to control our lives. As women, we come up with a game plan with goals for how our life will turn out. However, we are not in control of our lives, and praise God! He is in control, and He states in Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
On difficult days, I remember a Billy Graham saying, “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
Dear friend, I would love for you to be on the mountaintop with God today, but I know that you will have moments, days, and even months when you are in a valley. Know that you are not alone, and that is a place where growth can happen. Galatians tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace and it is one of the fruits I am trying to cultivate in my valley. When I feel myself starting to lose my cool, I ask God to fill me with His peace. Heaven knows I cannot do this on my own, and it is disastrous when I try. However, when I ask God, His peace washes over me like a gentle rain, watering the plant of peace growing in my valley.
~ Marisa McClintock, Lifegate Women
As we all know from science class, growing a plant takes more than just water. It needs sunlight, too. The same principle applies to spiritual fruit. Colossians gives us a clue as to the spiritual sunlight that can awaken our peace. Being thankful. After asking God to fill me with peace, I thank Him. Even if I am furious, I start to thank Him, and I find that there’s usually more things for which to be thankful than angry. Today, ask God to give you peace in your current or past valley, and feel it wash over you as you thank Him for all He has done.