Protect your peace
I’ve heard these three words many times in the last eight months.
They’ve become my bread each day.
What manna do you daily take and eat?
It has been eight days since Easter and I have seen the crushing weight of my sin meeting my breathless love for my Savior.
I have had to fall wildly into my need for that man — that human, treasured, Son — yet again.
I’ve had to press my hands onto the bathroom floor
Pause, bent in frustrated tears
Stare straight into my own, hot anger
Cup my child’s face in forced grace and utter exhaustion
And see, feel and taste
The blood that drained by it.
The Father that wept for it.
The mother that sat in it.
The friends that ran from it.
The strangers that mocked it.
The me that would be lifeless dead without it.
I’ve had the ugliest flesh moments.
Impatience. Selfishness. Trigger words sparking. Fear spitting out anger. Wants. And shameful coveting.
I’ve bent my knees before my God and asked if it was worth it.
Where is my peace?
Over dirty dishes and sudsy hands, I re-centered.
The tears ran warm and slow.
Someone died for me.
Someone died a hellish death for you.
Someone let their child die for you.
(Giant gut punch and loss of breath as I think about our last year with Grayson)
When Christ died for me and took up His spirit, it meant I could have peace forever. It meant His spirit takes up residence in me. Even in a backwards world.
It means peace lives–breathing, moving, alive– in me…
When I live by the Spirit.
Only when I live by the Spirit.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God (shoot), for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (again, humility)
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
When I live by my flesh
what I want, what I need, what I feel
what makes me happy, what makes me look good
what elevates me…
I am dishonoring God, I am
breaking His heart
I am rejecting the cross
I am turning my back on the death that gave me life.
And I do, every day. I get it wrong every hour.
But, as a teacher reminded us on Sunday, and as Bob Dylan reiterates
You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
We are free to sin.
We are free to live by our flesh.
But we, because of our new life in Jesus, are now free to choose Him instead.
Every day. Every moment. Every hour.
This year has taught me that the more intimately you live life with Christ, the more freedom you will have from this world, your flesh, from the broken junk.
You’ll have peace.
There are many things that can unravel our peace and face plant us into ourselves.
People and their words, opinions and own conceit
Daily judgement and ridicule
The media, the things it glorifies
And the unexpected curve balls sin pitches without regret
So we have to choose our peace. We have to know our peace.
You have to protect your peace.
And the way I’ve best found to do that is by knowing Him.
And the way I get to know Him is by His word.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
And that Word tells us that He himself is the bread of life.
John 6:35 meets our human longing,
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
This is peace. Our manna. Our life.
I get to partner with truth every day,
He lived victory over my mess.
So daily I tuck His word in my heart, eat the manna, where my fullest life resides beside Him.
Even when it looks wildly backwards to the world.