Peace


The following is by a niece and is used with her permission. JJB

 

STOP THAT FLAPPING
By Amy Fulfer

The safety presentation was finished and the captain had turned on the “fasten seatbelts” sign. The plane sat ready on the runway.

As the rush of acceleration was felt, a man jumped to his feet and began flapping his arms wildly. People stared and the flight attendant hurried to ask him to sit down. His face was red and beads of perspiration had popped out on his forehead.

No matter how the attendant tried to reason with him, he kept insisting, his words coming out in great gasps and puffs, “I’ve got to help get this plane get off the ground! I’ve got to do my part!”

A lot of things have been going on in our home recently: things that give me plenty to worry about. Financial, health and communication issues in our family, coupled with feelings of being spread too thin can really pump up anxiety levels. I feel like I have to DO SOMETHING to help make things better, but most of the time, that’s not even possible.

I used to brush it off and say, “I’m a woman. Women worry. It’s what we do.” It may very well be a genetic tendency, but it’s also unhealthy and unproductive. It’s a habit that I will have to break if I expect to ever have any peace in life.

I know that God has everything under control, and none of the things that blow my mind even take Him by surprise. He is the Pilot. He is in charge of what goes on in my life’s “flight.”

All of my worry accomplishes nothing, but rather steals my peace. I know that these things that make me feel panicky are not in my power to fix, yet I seem almost addicted to the worry. It gives me a thin, superficial sense of contributing to the solution.

As ridiculous as the scenario above sounds, I am in the habit of doing exactly what that man did. I keep flapping my arms, getting emotionally sweaty and exhausted, trying to “help” with something completely out of my control.

I am slowly learning, however, to hear that still, small voice in my heart that tells me, “Amy, stop flapping. You can trust this to me.”

 

Advertisements

FROM INSIDE A DARK CAVE

(A Psalm 143 Paraphrase)

 

O Lord hear our prayer,

Listen as we request your mercy,

In your faithfulness and righteousness

Come to our aid.

Do not bring your servants

Into judgment,

None of us who are alive are

Righteous before you

A satanic host pursues us,

We are crushed to the ground;

Our spirits dwell in isolation

And darkness;

Our inner man grows faint,

Our hearts are often dismayed.

We remember days long gone;

We meditate on your works;

We are thrilled at the things

Your hands have done.

We spread our hands to you,

We thirst like a parched land.

Answer us quickly, O Lord;

Our spirits fail.

Do not look away from us,

We would not be able to

Stand the darkness.

Let each morning bring us word

Of your unfailing love

We have put our trust in you.

Always give us your direction;

We lift our soul to you.

Rescue us from adversity, O Lord,

We hide inside your care.

Teach us to do your will,

For you are our God.

May your good Spirit lead us to

A place of wide vistas.

For your name’s sake, O Lord,

Preserve our lives.

In your righteousness

Bring us out of trouble.

In your unfailing love,

Silence our adversaries;

Destroy that, Which would

Destroy us,

For we are your servants.

Jonas Borntreger

6/24/05

 


Today I am remembering a dream I had some years ago. At that time, the town where I lived had some city offices in a non-descript building downtown. Fronting the offices there was a long narrow hall that led to two small jail cells in the back of the building. In my dream, I saw myself cowering in the corner of the rearmost cell. In the cell next to me, there was an enormous male lion.

 

As I surveyed my situation I became aware that the lion’s cell was not only locked but also chained and padlocked. My cell, on the other hand, was unlocked with the door standing several inches ajar. “I’ll just get up and leave,” I thought. However, as I started to move toward the gate, the lion made a most ferocious growl and I quickly slunk back into my corner. “This is ridiculous,” I said, “I am going to leave.” But each time, as I moved from my corner the ruckus next door had me soon changing my mind. This contest went on for the rest of my dream.

 

What is keeping you in your corner? A roar can’t hurt you and the door is open. Jesus said he came “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” (Luke 4:18) In God’s economy, we are the dominant species. It is we who should be roaring and forcing Satan to cower in his corner, not the other way around. In my dream, I had no one to ‘proclaim my freedom.’ I wish I had. Maybe this short re-telling of my dream can encourage you to realize yours. God bless you.

 

The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Prov. 28:1

 

Jonas J. Borntreger

© Oct 2007 JJB

 

The attribute of God that speaks most prominently to me, in the place where I am right now, is His peace. I often find myself chaotic, with actions and attitudes that reflect that chaos. When I consider God, I realize that He never loses ‘His cool.’ He never runs around covering His bases because He was somehow blindsided or because He was sloppy in executing His affairs. He has never gotten behind time: He sent His son ‘in the fullness of time.’

 

There have often been times when it appears that everything didn’t go according to the original plan of God. Those aberrations are always because of what we do or don’t do, and never because of Him. And yet in each of these situations, if we look close enough we find that in each of our failings, God has already pre-engineered a plan for taking our bumbling and turning it into a greater blessing. Joseph’s brothers meant it for evil; God meant it for good.

 

My current prayer is: Let the peace of God guard my heart and my mind.

 

Jonas J. Borntreger

2/28/2006