Friday, August 24, 2007

Seeking Peace

by Donna L. Watkins

Photo: Morven Estate
Catherine Marshall writes, "A king once offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many tried, but there were only two the king really liked. One was of a calm lake. It was a perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

The other picture had mountains too. But they were rugged and bare. Above them was an angry sky from which fell rain, and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountains tumbled a waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in spite of the rush of angry water, she sat on her nest - in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Why? 'Because,' explained the king, 'Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the middle of all these things and still be calm in your heart.'"

Do we pass through each day with a calm heart? Peace is not in the absence of troubles, but in the promise of God's presence in your moments. In Him we can trust and rest like the bird on the nest, knowing that all will be well while the angry world around us keeps flowing.

How about a calm mind? That's my downfall! The power of the mind and thoughts rule the day. Our moods, attitudes and behavior are all determined by what we choose to think about.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9

Are you a peacemaker? Generally we think of that as mending relationships and responding to anger with a soft answer, and forgiving offenses. But what about the battle in the mind? Are you a peacemaker there? Do you win the daily battle with the mind? It will determine your peace, joy and state of health.

Matthew 5:23-24 says, "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."

Let's take that Scripture inward. Do you settle matters quickly with your negative and condemning thoughts against yourself? Do it "on the way" not later. You can't allow a bad attacking thought to run free rein. It will literally take you into a prison of depression and misery.

Settle it quickly! Because if you don't, your life and health will suffer. In reading "you will not get out until you have paid the last penny" reminds me of how much money we spend trying to find health when so many times, it's found within the strongholds of our mind. The entrenchments we've made with continuous attacks against ourselves and others eat away at our bodies.

If you want some direction, "A More Excellent Way" is a book that relates emotional thoughts and beliefs to specific diseases. There is a ministry that deals with health problems in this manner: Pleasant Valley Church in Thomaston, GA.

Bottom line is to get off your back! The world is tough enough without us condemning ourselves for past failures and not so perfect life choices, but why continue to make the same choice that you're already condemning? Isn't it time to make today the first day of peace and joy by letting the past go. You can't change it, but if you let go of it, God can make it all good if you trust in Him.

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