Sep 4, 2014

PEACE Amidst a Storm Like No Other

Peace amidst a storm like no other!
"PEACE" -that passes all understanding -not as the world gives Definition: 5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind. at peace 1. In a state of tranquillity; serene: She is at peace with herself and her friends. 2. Free from strife: Everyone wants to live in a world at peace.

As I sit and ponder the past week... where we were just ONE week ago. Relaxing in the comfort of our home, planning a fun night out... and now ONE week later it feels as if an eternity has passed. Somehow it felt like time just stood still... One week ago today we lost one of our best friends and one of the most sweetest, kindest, faithful, gentle & loving women we know... my Mom-in-love was ushered into the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! As we travel on a 'family' road trip in dedication to Dad & Mom's 45th Anniversary today, I sit and reflect on the PEACE of God. Amidst the sorrow and busyness of this past week we had a strong sense of God's presence like never before. Now don't get me wrong... I've been in plenty (& I mean a lot) of services, camp meetings, youth conferences and youth group activities (& more) where the Presence of God was so real and fresh and manifested. But this was different... it was a sweet and gentle presence (just like Mom had). I spoke to many in the visitation line and indeed somehow (through Holy Spirit's power) spoke it at her Celebration of Life that you write the words and quote the Scripture at times like this for others. In times of sympathy and condolence you say or write "may you feel the love and prayers of family and friends" & "May the peace that passes understanding be yours"... and I shared how true that actually is. Those aren't just fleeting words to be spoken or taken lightly. They are TRUTH (just like the rest of the Word). Now again, dont get me wrong. We experienced sorrow and sadness as well as the rest of our friends and family, and we had our moments of "Why God?" and "No God give her back, bring her back home!", but then you come to the realization she is 'home', and she is desperately wanting to come back to us too, but she is now in the Presence of her Majesty... something she has read about, learned about, sang about and even taught about... and we can't take her away from that moment. It brings me back to a conversation that our cousin Richard and I had just a few months ago with Mom about the movie 'Heaven is For Real' and other comments regarding Heaven and God... Mom was adamant (& darn well should be) that the Word was true. We could not deny the truth that the little boy spoke. We would only know when we got there. We talked about being ready for that day. We shared different people's views and listened to messages from a couple different 'evangelists' and from little Colton himself. Mom had read the book, and they saw the movie too. I hadn't read the book or saw the movie, so I could only give my opinion from what I had read and heard from others and Facebook and the Internet in general. The fact that there were so called 'Christians' and Evangelists complaining and trying to misprove little Colton's story really bothered Mom (& me too). We also talked about even the elect being deceived in the last days. We talked about that we needed to not be caught in that. We shared different ideas and concepts, but it came down to the fact that NO ONE could disprove or prove what happened in 'Heaven is For Real', but to little Colton it was as real as what was in front of him right now. We said we wouldn't really know until we got there...which wouldn't be for a while... if only we knew how long a "while" was back then. As I reflect on that moment in time, that she even shared her opinion so 'gently' yet 'firmly' as well. It brings me back to the words of a Scripture and one of my favourite hymns, "I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day". One thing that was repeated again and again at Mom's 'Celebration of Life' was that she did know He that she believed in. My cousin even said that he believed that Aunt Rose was probably the most ready person he knew. At the celebration of life service it was also repeated "Are YOU ready?". We can have that PEACE because we know whom we believe in. It's not just a story, He wasn't just a man. It's not religion, but a RELATIONSHIP. A relationship that Mom had even as a young girl, and one that she passed on to her children (& even those under her influence). What a legacy of love! So as I sit and reflect on the peace and love of God, there are those (& as I've said we said it to for a moment) "Why does God let bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people? Well... I don't have all the answers to that, and I can share some of what I've been taught... but the first thing I remember (from what I've been taught, in my home, my church, at school, especially in ECE, and now at my job and as I teach in children's ministey: There are NO bad people, only good people who choose to do bad things. In most cases we can answer God gives man-kind a choice, and our consequences and 'bad things' come because of our choices... and with that answer we can be happy. But in this case there were no 'bad choices', there wasn't a choice that could be made... it is just something that happened out of our wishes and dreams, yet it was all part of God's perfect plan. HIS WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We can question God all we want, but in the end we have to just REST in the fact that He is in control and He knows what He is doing. If we can trust in Him and have Faith on the good times, then we have to in the bad times as well. As I said above to start, we have the peace that passes all understanding. By definition, "understanding" means, 1. the ability to learn, judge, make decisions, etc; intelligence or sense 2. personal opinion or interpretation of a subject: my understanding of your predicament. 7. sympathetic, tolerant, or wise towards people 8. possessing judgment and intelligence Our human intelligence, interpretation and ability to judge doesn't allow us to 'understand' the full nature of God, but that's where 'FAITH' comes in... it doesn't matter if we understand physically or mentally. But, sometimes right away, or usually with time, God allows us to understand spiritually. And in that understanding comes all the Fruit of the Spirit, as Holy Spirit kicks in as our guide. Peace is one of those, along with Love, Joy, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control. Those fruit/characteristics/traits were all a part of Mom's personality inside and out! As her children, and they that lead the next generation, we hope to continue her legacy of love, and be even half of the beautiful person she was inside and outside! And as her 'child', she wouldn't let me end without making sure that I asked YOU... are YOU ready? You may not have the 'time' to accept Him at the last minute... at the '11th hour'. I have a shirt that says "Many who plan to seek God at the 11th hour die at 10:30." Some people think it's 'morbid', but it is truth. And as they say, sometimes truth hurts. And it usually hurts more when you are 'convicted' by Holy Spirit. So... are YOU ready? Will you be one of those that I will see again one day in Heaven? We will never die... do YOU have that relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit, our comforter and guide?? Take a moment right now and in the silence of your own heart make sure. Whether you accepted Jesus when you were 4 (like me) or if you have never accepted him (Or in between), make this moment count. A simple prayer is all it takes, no big fancy words needed. Just share your heart. ♡ Thank you for reading... we have made it to our 'destination' for now... and we are thankful Mom made it to her 'FINAL' destination as well. She will be in the "cloud of witnesses" welcoming you in... "THANK YOU MOM FOR GIVING TO THE LORD! I AM SO GLAD YOU GAVE!" ♡ Love you Mom! ♡

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