God is good if he causes my labor to be smooth and perhaps 15 minutes long.
What about this one...
God is good if we weren't so tight financially.
God is good if things were less stressful and my kids don't get sick.
These statements are clearly untrue, and yet...I betray what I believe by the conditions on my happiness.
Friends, I am about a week and a half out from my due date, and unlike my first pregnancy, I KNOW what is coming...I know the pain of labor, the exhaustion of long nights of newborn + other littles, the hormone swings, the unexpected sicknesses when you have multiple kids, the delicate balance between taking it slow and keeping up with what must be done, the dependency of a newborn, and the cost of diapers. I know, and I'm tempted to be anxious.
I heard a wonderful message on Philippians 4:6-9 yesterday at church. A familiar passage written by a man who understood distress and suffering, who knew the peace of wanting Christ more than what Christ could do for his present circumstances. It was a message I needed to hear.
You see, for all that we think we desire the Lord, in actuality, it is often the peace of God we are after and not the God of Peace himself. When I worry about what I think I must have to be happy, and long for what it is I don't have...I worship what He can give me and not who He is.
I'm eager to have great faith but not so much the circumstances that will cultivate that faith in me. You, too?
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.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
How shall I avoid anxiety and lean into the peace of God? Paul tells us to submit and surrender through prayer and thanksgiving. He reminds us to think not on our own kingdom, but on the Father's...on the character of Christ.
And what is it that we will receive as we meditate on the truth of who He is and not the lies of our circumstances?
We receive "the God of peace"...not just the peace of God, but the Great I Am, himself.
So, unlike my first pregnancy, I know the challenges that are to come. But, I also KNOW the faithfulness of God, the undeserved blessings, the amazing displays of love and support through the body of Christ, the indescribable elation of holding new life, and the peace of God that comes through the testing of our faith as we trust in the God of peace. I know He is faithful not simply because He says so, but because He's shown it to be so. Thanksgiving for what He has done, who He is, and His character through which I can consider all things...that is where I'll be fighting anxiety and welcoming peace.
Jesus is peace. And I welcome Him today...just Him.
Now let's link up in community...
Welcome to GraceLaced Mondays, a link up dedicated to sharing any and all blog posts by like-minded lovers of grace--God's grace! Grace is found in the everyday when you are intentional about taking note of it...and I invite you to share your story, great or small, of how everyday moments are full of Grace.
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The GraceLaced studio is moving!
The GraceLaced studio and fulfillment center are moving!
Due to the move, all print and notecards orders placed between Saturday, February 17 and Thursday, February 22 may take as long as 10 days to ship. We thank you for your patience during this time and we're looking forward to getting settled in our new space soon.