22 hours ago
Sunday, August 29, 2010
"Calgon Take Me AWAY!!!"
Do you remember the old Calgon commercial? It shows a lady’s life spinning out of control… the pressures of work, home, kids, her spouse, the dog, and life just press in and overwhelm her until she screams out, “Calgon take me away!” Then somehow everything becomes peaceful and you hear classical music playing, birds twirping, see butterflies flying around, and she is laying with her eyes closed relaxed in a bubble bath. Wow… that is some powerful bubble bath. If I could get my hands on that kind of peace in a bottle, I would be stock piling.
Peace is something that everyone wants, but it’s hard to find. I remember hearing when I was younger as you may have…. “Leave me alone, I need some peace and quiet.” Peace and quiet seem to go together. It is in the quiet and stillness that you notice the peace. We can manufacture physical peace by making it quiet around us, but inner peace is harder to come by. It is a quiet confidence that everything will be o.k. True peace is found in God. He is the prince of PEACE.
I’ve faced many storms in my life… storms can be scary at times. I grew up in Missouri where the storms we faced could change into tornados at the drop of a hat. Every time it rained and the winds picked up, I was prepared to take shelter to save my life. Life can throw at us lots of scary things that we feel unprepared to face. They may feel overwhelming, pressing, and squeezing the life out of us, but calling out for Calgon will not change a thing. God is the only one who can bring peace. He wants to be there to calm the storms of our life if we let Him. When you learn to trust Him with everything, you will not be shaken no matter what life throws your way.
Years ago, I faced a personal storm in my life that seemed overwhelming. We were just married five years and expecting our first child. We were very excited. We had big plans for this little bundle of joy. All our hopes and dreams were wrapped up into little Kayden McKinley… he just hadn’t arrived yet. The first three months of the pregnancy went well until I entered the fourth month. We were on staff at a church and hit a very busy season. We were doing a huge outreach/production in our church that went almost every night and kept getting extended each week. Many were giving their lives to God and it was awesome. I am a person who doesn’t like to sit around and watch the parade go by, I like to be in it or helping make it happen. Needless to say, I was very involved. By the middle of the series of productions, I found myself growing very tired. At one point at the end of a production I thought I was going to pass out, so I quickly grabbed a seat to catch my breath. That night after making a trip to the emergency room, we discovered that I was having a miscarriage or losing the baby. It was hard to swallow. All our hopes and dreams for this child were gone in an instant. We were in shock and disbelief. Why? I didn’t understand why this was happening, but I had enough of a foundation in God to know that He was in control and I trusted Him.
Immediately when we got home from the hospital I went to my place of PEACE… the bath tub. I don’t know why, but that was the only place I could stop and be quiet enough to hear God when I could hear Him no where else. I cried, vented, and poured my heart out to Him… the good, bad, and ugly. In return I received… HIS PEACE. It rushed all over me… it was a sweet feeling of contentment, quiet confidence, steady resolve, an unshaken and unmistakable trust in God and His ability to take charge of my life and the circumstances at present. I knew I felt it, but I didn’t know it showed on the outside.
Later, we had to go back to the hospital for me to have a procedure done to remove the baby. My husband was very worried about me because my reaction wasn’t as he expected. He thought I was going into depression so he had the doctor and our pastor counsel me, but it was God’s PEACE shining through. I didn’t understand WHY, but I knew WHO could walk with me through it all and I trusted Him.
We will ask through out our lives many times Why???... but if we don’t know the Who, that can help us through it all, we will be crushed under the pressures life sends our way. God makes all the difference! It’s not just knowing about God, it’s knowing Him personally. It’s not having religion, but a relationship with Him. Relationships take work, but it’s always worth the effort! God wants you to know and experience Him personally. His peace comes as a natural outflow of your relationship with Him. God’s peace is an available resource to you if you take the time to tap into it.
If you aren’t feeling God’s peace you may need to ask yourself a few questions…
1. Have I met the PRINCE OF PEACE?
If you don’t already know Him, invite God to be a part of your life. He wants to know you personally. He wants to give you a fresh start, a blank page, a new beginning. It’s never too late when it comes to God to start over. Just take the first step by inviting Him inside the door of your heart… His PEACE will follow. Meet the Prince of Peace today!
“And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NLT)
If you aren’t feeling God’s peace you may need to ask yourself…
2. Am I plugged into the SOURCE OF PEACE?
If you know Him, then plug into the source. Take time to be with Him. Read the Bible, talk to Him, Go to church where you can be with other believers that love Him. It’s so easy to get busy and set God aside. He can become a routine to us, but He wants to be the main attraction. Many of us are going through life with out the connection we need to God. Have you ever tried to connect to the internet and your connection failed? No matter what you did, it wouldn’t work. Just like our computer won’t work properly unless it is connected to the source, our relationship with God doesn’t work well unless we are plugged into Him. Don’t get too busy that you don’t take time to connect with God. Your busyness will end up becoming a waste of time leaving you drained and your work ineffective. Time with God will bring you peace. Connect to the source today!
“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (Msg)
If you aren’t feeling God’s peace you may need to ask yourself…
3. Am I seeking the HOPE OF PEACE?
We have the ability to experience the hope of God’s peace each time we invite Him to help us make decisions. Are you asking God for His direction in all areas of your life? His peace will overwhelm you and be an outflow as He leads you. He wants to be involved in determining your next steps as you walk with Him each day (in the little things and the big things). We have a choice each time we make a decision… we can go it alone or ask for God’s help. Taking things into our own hands does not produce peace. It produces… stress, fear, anxiety, worry, depression, and more. Many times we forfeit God’s peace because we never ask. I challenge you to ask for God’s assistance and see what happens. His peace will guide you the way you need to go. Seek the Hope of Peace today!
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
God’s peace passes all understanding… we can’t comprehend it, but it is life-changing when we experience it. I pray that you may know, experience, and have that unexplainable confidence in God when you face overwhelming circumstances in your life. Please let me know if you have asked God to come into your life for the first time, recommitted your life to Him, or you are praying for His peace in a certain situation. I want to be able to rejoice with you and pray along side of you as you seek God’s best for your life. God is faithful. May His peace consume you today!
Living to leave a legacy!