Friday, December 11, 2009

Exceeding Peace

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Falling to my knees I prayed these very verses yesterday morning. I could feel my stress level rising. So much needs to be accomplished by this weekend. Deadlines loom before me. Feeling completely overwhelmed, I did the only thing I could do, I fell before the Lord and surrendered my "anything" and prayed about "everything".

Lord, my Christmas cards still aren't done.
My Christmas devotional is written, but not printed. I still need to purchase paper for that too.
Gifts for mailing need to be wrapped and packaged.
Shopping isn't finished.
Need to prepare my list for our dinner next week. Where will I find a turkey big enough?
Mom needs to go grocery shopping. Do I have time to take her?
The house needs a thorough cleaning and we have friends coming over Sunday. Help them not see my mess.
Concert at the church tomorrow. I would wait to go Sunday for the performance, but my son has two friends attending with their mom. Should I be there to meet her?
Chris writes his 3 hour music exam at 9:30. His stress has become my stress.
A Dr's appointment at 3:30 means at least 4:15, so more time lost.
Friends are calling to 'do' coffee. I want to see them, but it just adds pressure.
Lord, this time of year always fills me with hectic, hurry, health issues, hassles and haste.
Where's the harmony, hope, hallelujah and holy?

I need that peace that guards my mind and exceeds my understanding.

"Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then..."

Lord, I've been good at the 'telling', but not so faithful in the 'thanking'. Both are pre-requisites to peace. Looking back over my list above, Lord...

I thank You that over half of my Christmas cards are written.
I thank You for the idea that prompted my Christmas devotional this year and for the message shared. I thank You that my sister heard of my need and is supplying the beautiful, decorated paper for printing.
I thank You for helping me order my day yesterday so that now parcels are ready for the mail.
I thank You that 95% of my shopping is complete and for the many bargains You led me to so that I could be a good steward of the resources You've entrusted to me.
I thank You that my husband is going to look after finding the turkey.
I thank You that I still have the opportunity of ministering to my precious parents.
I thank You for my home, even when it needs cleaning.
I thank You for my son's witnessing and for his friends and their families attending the Christmas presentation tonight. Lord, prepare their hearts to believe and receive.
I thank You for the abilities You have given my son. Calm his nerves. Bring to his remembrance all he has learned as he writes his exam this morning at 9:30.
I thank You for my Dr. and for the time he gives once in his office. He is attentive and thorough. Thank You for the time You have provided in that waiting room to sit and be still and know that You are God.
I thank You for friends who want to spend time with me. When many walk with loneliness, I am so blessed.

Lord, as my focus changes, may You guard my heart and mind with Your peace. Protect me from the worry and anxiety that is my tendency and fill with Your calm. May my heartbeat slow. May my blood pressure drop. May my thoughts become captive. May I rest in You alone.

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~Grace and Peace said...

I love how you changed the focus which made the situation much, much better. Same list different focus. The second one is much, much peaceful. I need to make a similar list (2nd, not the 1st!) - so much to get done before Christmas break but so much to be thankful for as well.

Have a blessed weekend. May you rest in His love.

On Purpose said...

Joy what a great 'before and after'...Jesus is amazing...He can always take our befores and make them such beautiful afters.

I love you my friend! May you be peaceful in each moment of this day knowing He is with you!