I am an avid reader. One vacation I polished off 5 books in 6 days. But this particular book took me over 3 years to finish. Not because it was boring, but because it was THAT good.
I knew within a few pages, that this was one of those books that I would have to meditate on. There were just too many gems to haphazardly skim and move onto the next thing. I was going to need to slowly read each chapter and internalize it. I lingered on some chapters for a few days, others months; slowly but steadily I made it through.
The me at the other side is the not the same – but by the grace of God I have learned that:
PEACE is POWERFUL.
PEACE is being able to go through troublesome situations and yet remain calm, steady and joyful, both on the inside and out.
Strife, worry, fear, anxiety, discontentment – they cripple us. PEACE is powerful enough to break through these strongholds that steal our joy, kill our spirit and destroy our witness.
Below are the words from the backflap of the book. As I re-read them three years later, I am startled to see that those words could have been written by me today, as it is exactly how my journey started, and where I am now:
“I came to a point in my life of being so hungry for peace that I was willing to make whatever changes were necessary in order to have it. As a result of that decision and the investment I made during the following years, I now enjoy a life of peace that often passes understanding. In other words, I enjoy peace during the storms of life, not just when the storms don’t exist. I am not saying that I have arrived at a state of perfection in my pursuit of peace, but I have made a lot of progress. As the apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:12, ‘I have not arrived, but I press on.’
“There were times in my life when I could be peaceful if everything was going my way, but since that seldom occurred, I rarely had peace. Now I have learned to change what I can change, accept what I cannot change, and I regularly seek wisdom to know the difference. What I can do, I do with God’s help; what I cannot do, I turn over to Him so He can work. That leaves me free to enjoy my life.”
It was not an easy read. Some of it was just darn right painful to admit, and even more painful to change. Nor am I so naive as to think that I am done and can just cross this off my list. “Peace. Check!”
I think I’m going to reading it again. I’ve only just begun…and I feel so FREE.
If you want to grow in PEACE, this book is a must.
“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b.
In Pursuit of Peace: 21 ways to conquor Anxiety, Fear and Discontentment by Joyce Meyer.