Since my 8 year old daughter was in kinder, we created this regular ritual that includes a cup of tea and a chat and most of the time it includes a conversation about friendships and other things that she is anxious or worried about. She is a lot like me in her need to process life, and relationships out loud and through talking. I value these conversations and will intentionally make space in my day to ensure she gets the time to do this. I don’t want to just offer her a little bit of my homespun wisdom and experience because it is falls so short of what God can see in her.
Some weeks ago I was praying about a situation she was dealing with at school and God gave me this scripture which has become a prayer I have begun to pray over my kids almost daily.
Isaiah 53:13 says
Your children shall be taught of The Lord and great shall be their peace.
I love that this verse speaks of great peace.
Another verse describes his peace as perfect peace.
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Then there’s peace that is promised as a blessing just because we are His…
The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.
PEACE…is a such a strong theme in the Bible.
Peace is a gift.
Peace is a promise.
Peace is a blessing.
Peace is has conditions attached.
Peace is something we can expect.
Peace is both a choice and an outcome.
Peace helps us make decisions.
Peace helps us know God’s will.
Peace helps us deal with conflict.
Peace helps us face conflict.
Peace is not the absence of conflict.
Peace is not found in the absence if trouble.
Peace can be received and peace can be given.
Peace can be prayed for.
Peace is our responsibility.
If peace can be great then it can also be small.
If peace can be perfect then there is a a form of peace that is not perfect.
If we can be given peace then peace can also be taken from us.
There are many things that will rob us of peace but they don’t have to.
Peace thieves: worry, anxiety, fears, doubt, trouble, selfishness, disobedience, lack of trust, confusion, division, bitterness, hurt, betrayal even other people…. None of these stop trouble or fix trouble or protect us from trouble but they can steal our peace. Will you continue to let your peace be taken or will you protect this peace and fight for it. We can stop the peace burglars.
Strength comes from a sense of internal peace and this peace is sourced in a person. Our saviour, our Messiah, was to be prophesied as ‘the prince of peace’ …Jesus who lives in me brings peace to my soul….to my choices, to my decisions, to my thoughts, to my circumstances.
When Paul challenges us to let God’s peace rule and reign our hearts…it is confronting because when we are anxious and worried we are allowing something else to rule and reign in our mind.
When I ask my kids what is worrying them or what makes them anxious they can answer straight away. If my kids (whose lives are great and simple and easy) can tell me in a nano second about a stressor or what makes them anxious, then you can too. So what causes you to panic, to worry, to stew, to stress? What do you find your mind dwelling on and confusing you or eating you up? What are you worrying about? What is having rule and reign that God’s peace should have?
We find it easier to resist God than resist the ‘Thief’. For every fear and worry there is peace available. Trouble may not flee but peace certainly does not have to.
Paul will often open his letters to the church with this one phrase: Grace and Peace to you from God.
It is time to protect your peace and stand strong against the things that rob you of peace. Find strategies that will help stop the thieves in their tracks and allow His peace to rule in your heart even when the trouble is hasn’t gone anywhere. Even in the darkest and most difficult place, confusion and fretfulness do not have to rule. Jesus, the ‘Prince of Peace’ is the ruler of your heart …so let him reign.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Great peace is God’s promise not just for my kids ..it is God’s promise for you!