Peace.

I mentioned in the last post that there’s been a lot of life in my life lately, and that it’s been unbelievably stressful. More than I could handle (which needs to be a whole post sometime, but read this to start) to be sure.

I had a trial come up in one of the jobs. It was pretty major, and it centered around some things I’d done, not done, and allegedly did. Controversy isn’t anything new for me…my particular personality has (usually via my sin) caused more than a little of it over my career. Because of the issues around this trial, there was a lot of uncertainty.

I think uncertainty is one of the worst things for me personally. It’s easier for me to handle a certain high pressure situation than an unknown one. Anticipation of problems tends to be worse than the problems themselves. Another part of my psyche, I’m sure, and one that is occasionally humorous after the face.

One good thing about trials is that they can help you see your soul more clearly. There’s always more than enough sin in my soul to be worthy of an accusation, and there’s always more than enough sin in my actions to cause problems for others. And the same is true for you. This one in particular led to some great conversations with people who love me about places I’m succeeding and others where I’m failing…and dissecting both the “why” and “what do we do next.” While painful in the moment it’s extremely beautiful as God, in His grace, points out the filth, helps you to pick the dirt off yourself, and washes you with His Word. In this particular trial I am immensely thankful that my pride rarely got in the way of hearing the correction and encouragement of others.

I was in a teleconference on Monday that settled some things around this trial. Tuesday night, after a particularly emotional and full day at work (I’m really behind and that just adds stress, you know) was date night. On date night, no matter how much work I have to do I leave the laptop at the office. And I realized, halfway through a bowl of chips and salsa (have I mentioned here how much I love mexican food) that I wasn’t feeling weighed down as much. My spirit felt light and unburdened and I had a relaxing conversation with my beautiful wife, uninterupted by my whiney stress-filled soul.

God gives grace in the moments, and He gives peace. Nothing around me had changed in the least…there were still undone projects that needed me to go into the office early the next day. There were still all of the undone things on “the list.” The people I love all still had the same problems. But God gave me peace in the moment.

And this is peace that surpasses comprehension (Phil. 4)…peace that calms your soul when storms continue around you in your life. It doesn’t make any sense to be calm right now, but you are. That’s when you know the peace is a gift from God’s hand and not something you conjured up in your own soul. And God gives you peace because He loves you.

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