It’s not easy embracing a life of God’s Priorities when you’re hitting the grind everyday to make ends meet. However, keeping your peace, even in the worst of times is possible.
Keeping Your Peace
We became desperate for God, when we lost everything. When God is all you got, you find new and liberating ways to seek Him first. After all, who else was going to save us from this mess?
Although we were desperate for God, we couldn’t spend all day in prayer, because we still had a family, work and a home to manage. Therefore. we had to find the balance in waiting on Him, while maintaining His priorities.
Starting my morning with God wasn’t a problem. It was getting through the rest of the day without being anxious about what in our life was going wrong and what “I” needed to do to make something happen.
This is when I began to train myself to find peace in what I knew about God, and what I learned about why His priorities were in their respective order. At that time, our current circumstances became an opportunity to apply what we were learning.
Our Peace Story
While the real estate business was slowing down, God called our former Pastors to start a church and we felt led to serve alongside of them. At that time, our business had decreased significantly.
On the other hand, we had a lot more free time. Instead spending hours worrying and trying to figure out what we can make happen, we began to serve in our free time.
It was no coincidence to God that at the same time, our business was slowing down. As a result, we had time available to help our Pastors start a church.
Prior to becoming a realtor, I worked in the financial industry for over 10 years. With that experience, I was asked to oversee the finances for our church. Not to mention, since at the time I was a realtor, I was also responsible for finding our church location and overseeing the remodel.
Things Aren’t What They Seem
In the natural, that looked crazy to an outsider looking in. Some people even told me that since I wasn’t making money in the real estate market, I should figure out how to earn income to pay our bills instead of volunteering my time.
Thank God, I wasn’t foolish to listen to that non-sense and decided to put action behind my faith in God. In fact, that was the catalyst to keeping my peace.
First Things First
Over the years I have learned that our first ministry begins at home. Although I was volunteering, I purposed to give God His time first, then prioritized the needs of my family.
As a new church, I knew we were in a season where more of our time would be needed to get it off the ground. However, because we made living within the priorities of God a lifestyle, I was at peace with it.
Business may had been slow, but I continued to work unto the Lord. I made calls, sent emails to clients, and followed-up with any pending files. After that, what else was I suppose to do? Worry, freak-out and try to figure out how “I’m” going to do something?
No? I chose to serve God and rest in knowing that by honoring His priorities, He will reward me.
The Physical Toll of Stress
In the spirit that sounded good, but keeping all things real, physically my body was not handling the stress well.
One morning I woke up and my face was to the right of my body and my neck was to the left. When I looked in the mirror, I was horrified and drove to a chiropractor.
While driving there, I realized I had only 20 miles until empty in my gas tank, about $50 in our checking account, knowing that my co-pay was going to be at least that. Instead of panicking I prayed and reminded God what His word says.
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. ~ Hebrews 11:6 (AMPC)
Because I had purposed to honor His priorities, I asked God for His provision for whatever needed to be done.
As I was sitting in the doctor’s office I heard the chiropractor tell me I need to go for testing, come back three times a week, etc. All I was thinking was, I can’t afford that. However, when he finished speaking, I took a deep breath and said: “ok.”
The Reward of Keeping My Peace
As I went to check out, the receptionist said: “there’s no charge today.” I said: “excuse me, yes there is. My co-pay is $50.” She said: “we know, but your co-pays have been covered by an anonymous person for any doctor visits you need.”
Tears rolled down my face as I walked to the car. I began to sing, I am a friend of God, I am friend of God, He calls me friend. Then I turned on my car and my gas light came on. I just smiled and kept singing.
Before I pulled out of the parking lot, I got a phone call from a family friend. They went on to say, they had just heard our family was going through a difficult time, and wanted to give us a love offering of $1,500.
They asked where I was and met me there. When we met, they literally handed me an envelope and drove off with no conversation.
Completely in awe of God’s goodness, I left the parking lot I was able to get gas, and groceries on the way home.
How To Keep Your Peace
Jesus has given us his peace. It won’t look like anything we’ve seen in the world, and it may even look strange to others. However, it will require us to make the decision to keep our peace.
This became real to me when I began to meditate on John 14:27.
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] ~ John 14:27 (AMPC)
To keep your peace make the decision to do it. If Jesus didn’t think we had the power to keep our peace, he wouldn’t have told us to stop allowing ourselves to be disturbed.
Walking in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, comes when we choose to rest in God – resting in what we know, not how we feel.
In The End
We’re living in a time where the future is unknown, and people are overwhelmed with uncertainty. While those may be the facts, the truth is your peace is not tied to the outcome of this world.
Your peace is in the hands of the One whom holds your future. Therefore, I encourage you today to refuse to lose your peace – even in the worst of circumstances.
~ Timberley Gray