A Movable Peace

I know how painfully hard it is to live with an unquiet mind. When my illness set in in late-2003, it came with a great fearfulness. I call it borderline nervous breakdown. It ran on and off for years and it was utterly insidious. We would go to the riverside park near our home where Hannah and her Dad would be running or playing in the open space, the green grass underneath their feet and the blue vastness over them were testimonies of a beautiful world. But I was crippled by a different reality: my mind was gripped by an unexplained fear and it had taken over my whole being. It followed me wherever. It was very present. Peace of mind was my most sought-after thing, but it proved to be the most elusive. It was nonexistent.

But that’s taking it to the extreme. I had long been totally healed by the Lord from that crippling affliction. What I want to talk about is how to grasp peace and bask in it in our daily lives, being mentally and emotionally sound as we are. My natural tendency is to talk a lot: explain a lot, tell stories a lot, or express my opinions a lot. Sometimes, give a lengthy sermon to my tween daughter or to the maids. But I myself is deafened by my own words and by the din of my own voice. At times, wearied by them.

I have begun a practice that is helping me to relish peace wherever I am and whatever the situation is. It’s rather easy. I practice to be silent. I choose to be silent no matter how difficult the circumstances are. And in my silence, I luxuriate in the peace I have within.

In mid-2004, just a few months after my husband and I received salvation, we were traveling to the nearby province to attend a wedding (I could travel short distances then). A sister in Christ and an elder was traveling with us. She and my husband were gaily talking about people in church. At times they would burst out laughing. I didn’t want to be a part of it. I was silent in my seat as I thought about apostle Paul’s admonitions. Foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints (Eph. 5:3-4, rearranged).

I looked out the window of the car and took pleasure in gazing at the verdant fields. Peace abode within me and it was like a piece of heaven. It traveled with me. I had a movable peace.

Even in the face of great excitement, something inside of me, like a still small voice, pulls me inward and stops me from losing myself in the frenzy. When I do succeed to keep silent amid the ruckus, inner peace strengthens and gladdens me. Mary on the barn floor always comes to mind.

After an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds in the field in the cold of night, they hasted to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus. So, they gathered around the manger and saw with their own eyes and they went about telling everyone about the child Jesus. And all those who heard marvelled. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (See Luke 2).

In the midst of the flurry of the birth of the Savior, Mary remained quiet and kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. She had a quiet spirit. And underneath that quiet facade was an inner strength that wasn’t easily shaken. Yes, even when the angel Gabriel appeared before her to bring her the news that she would conceive and give birth to a son, while she was still a virgin and betrothed to Joseph.

Maintaining a gentle and quiet spirit in any circumstances brings a sturdy inner calm. This is bred by keeping our spirit in an uninterrupted communion with the Spirit of God. The verse below was my very powerful weapon during those days of utter fear and restlessness. It has become my practice ever since.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. (Is. 26:3)

Sometimes, we cannot find peace even if we are in a quiet place because we carry a restless mind. By cultivating a quiet spirit, peace will find its seat inside of us so that wherever we go, it moves with us.

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(Photo courtesy of my good friend Perla Frisberg of Malmo, Sweden, and edited at picmonkey.com).

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Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Grace says:

    Rina, this verse says when we mediate on God we have peace, but there have been times when I have done this and not felt at peace. I wonder if it is because I’m lacking trust? Definitely for the food for thought and prayer. – Grace

    • RinaPeru says:

      Grace, I’m afraid that having peace of mind and heart has everything to do with our trust in God. I know what you mean. I had experienced it. But this is what I do: aside from immersing myself with God’s Word morning and evening, I pray agonizingly, with tears, and I wouldn’t close my prayers until i have felt His peace flooding my heart. Now, I want that peace to remain, because after Bible reading or prayer, we may still WORRY. But I trust that my prayer has been heard and there’s nothing left to do but WAIT and REST in His mercy and unequalled power.

  2. Barbie says:

    This is such a powerful truth. I often slow down, my body, only to have my mind still wrestling with cares and fears. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  3. Cherry says:

    So good – thank you for sharing these thoughts! I love the Isaiah verse that you shared. God has been teaching me more about this same thing, and has been reminding me to turn each concern and worry into a prayer … using my weaknesses to draw me to Him. So, in a way, our weaknesses can become blessings, as they point us to our need of Him.

    • RinaPeru says:

      “Turn each concern and worry into a prayer… using my weaknesses to draw me to Him” ~ this is the best way and this is what I do, too. Thank you for leaving your message full of wisdom, dear Cherry. (By the way, I went to visit your blog yesterday but sadly, I couldn’t leave my comment because the selection doesn’t have wordpress.org).

      • Cherry says:

        Rina, I am so sorry my blog didn’t leave you the option to comment. I hope that isn’t a problem for others who wish to comment, either. Thanks for letting me know. I am a bit confused, though, as the drop down choices do list WordPress. Please let me know if you continue to have problems with this …

      • RinaPeru says:

        Hi Cherry. Yes, the list does include WordPress but it’s for wordpress.com not for wordpress.org :(. I encounter this problem with other blogs using Blogger, like Spiritual Sundays. I’m wondering, can someone who doesn’t have a blog leave a comment in Blogger blogs?

  4. Nancy Sturm says:

    Ahh, the peace that passes understanding. I’m so glad you’ve found it. May you continue your life’s walk in God’s peace.

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