Shalom ~ Amen

On Monday I was so blue I could barely stand myself.

On Tuesday I fasted for Peace – Our church has prayer group on Tuesday nights and last Tuesday I agreed that I would fast with the team – but was never given any fast direction. We fast according to the bible to show our dedication to the Lord. We come together in one accord and with one common prayer lifted up, we forego the day’s delicacies in a spirit of surrender to God.

I thought we’d get a call or an email or something telling us the focus of the fast – I think everyone else had been in attendance the Tuesday prior so they knew why they were fasting. I didn’t know, so I searched my own soul and decided as was clearly written in big red letters on my day planner to FAST 4 PEACE.

 My heart has been so heavy for the past few weeks. Trouble focusing, trouble sleeping, trouble holding back tears… trouble letting go of the past and the feelings of guilt and dismay. I’d been anxious, edgy, irritable and withdrawn. The thing I needed most from God was PEACE!

Tuesday day – in the midst of the fasting – I wrote about my absence from life and stated that although I knew it would be my faith that would restore my joy – regrettably, my wallowing was expansive and I simply refused to make room for faith.

 Tuesday night – I went to prayer group and not only made room, but sat on the lap of faith. I concentrated my prayers on peace of mind – no one knew the prayers behind my fast and no one knew my present heartache. Then, the name was called out among the group… of all the names given to our precious Lord, the name that was called out was the answer to my silent prayer – Jehovah Shalom. The name to call on in this moment and moments like these. Graciously, I gave praise and thanks – to the Lord our peace.

 

 Tuesday at bedtime – I received an email from the heartbreaker and finally, I rested… knowing (from the contents of the email) that my steps had been directed and my path laid out before me. Instead of feeling blue for what was – I suddenly felt rosy with the realization that I was exactly where I was meant to be. I floated in the peace of the knowledge that not being with the one I hoped for allowed me to be closer to the one who gives merit to hope.

 Wednesday – I turned on the ignition and the familiar voice on the radio was a GRACE FM preacher. I hadn’t yet looked in the rearview mirror to back out of the driveway when I heard over the speakers, “PEACE – JEHOVAH SHALOM – THE GOD OF OUR PEACE” Praise God! What a lovely day it turned out to be.

 Wednesday evening – Mid-week church service. The sermon was the next in a several week study on anger. Oh – how I continue to learn who I really am and how I really stink at making myself happy. When I was young I learned the song Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart – where? Yes… down in my heart is where it was – and in praise, it was pulled it out – reclaimed!

 It was hard to leave the church that night – hard to leave the lovely people. It truly has become a family and when the love of your family is good and strong and solid – it’s hard to say goodbye.

 I arrived home and unpacked my bible study notes. There was a paper in the middle of my handouts that was titled 31 Reasons to Praise God. I read through the first few and then thought since there were 31 days in the month – this would be a good paper to choose daily devotions from. Although it was nearly bedtime, I looked to # 18 – as this Wednesday was the 18th day of the month. What do you imagine the reason for praise on the 18th was? Something worded like this – I praise you Father for you are my peace – Jehovah Shalom.

 There was a verse to support that statement but I don’t remember what it was – I don’t even think I looked it up. No sooner did I read what the devotion for the day was than did I clearly recall this truth:

You Oh Lord give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in You! I don’t know where you find that in the bible – but I know it’s there!  (researched it…Isaiah 26). I also don’t know the mysterious ways the Lord works, but I know He does – all things together for the good of those who love Him! Romans 8:28

 I’ve said it many times an am certain I’ll say it many more – one can call these happenings coincidence, or irony, or even claim that it’s all nonsense…  I will not be that one.

 Thursday – when I sat down to pen this little truth I had only typed a sentence when my phone rang. My director called me to say that I had been awarded an additional week of paid vacation. WHAT? Ah, Faith, Grace, Blessings! Not only do I feel so much better in my soul Praise be to thee  Jehovah Shalom – My Prince of Peace, but I am blessed to have opportunity to spend some good quality time truly resting in that peaceful easy feeling. If that isn’t the peace of mind I’ve prayed for friends, I can’t imagine what is.

 Today’s reason to praise God – Jehovah Rophi – Thank you Father for healing me. Mind and Soul!

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

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