A few years ago, my oldest son started experiencing bouts of extreme dizziness and ringing in his ears along with some hearing loss. After consulting with doctors, it was determined that he needed to have an MRI. Basically, they needed to check to see if he had a brain tumor.
As you can imagine, it was a very scary time for me. It’s so hard to go through medical tests when you have to do so much waiting. It's like they say, "This is really serious; go home and wait and wait and wait until we find time to help you." Then they leave you hanging. Your peace level can go downhill really fast if you decide to start doing your own research online!
I remember standing in my bedroom, ironing clothes while fighting a mental battle. I had to decide how far I would let my mind go down the road of “what if’s.” In order to stay in peace, I had to choose to put the thought of cancer aside and think about other things. I did this by imagining myself pushing the worrying thoughts over to the side and bringing thoughts of the things I could control into the center. I had to actively choose not to go down the path of the worst-case scenario.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to go down the path of thinking about the worst possible outcome because, somehow, we think it helps to prepare us for what might be coming. The problem is, this is not the way of the Kingdom.
Jesus says it like this, 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.
Jesus gives us peace as a gift.
Jesus gives us peace as a gift; then He commands us to not let our hearts be troubled. Peace is both a gift and a responsibility. Sometimes not letting your heart be troubled requires you to fight!
Thankfully, my son’s MRI came back clear, and his “permanent” hearing loss has been restored!
It can be so easy to go down a trail of imagining the worst even when things really are going well. It all starts with the thought "what if."
What if a shooter comes into my workplace or my kid’s school?
What if my spouse gets killed in a car wreck on their way home from work?
What if I get a horrible disease?
If we're not careful we can get ourselves all worked up about something that may never happen. We can waste our precious time mentally planning out funerals that aren't going to happen anytime soon. This is how you partner with fear. It is vain imagination hard at work.
You can partner with peace by turning your "what if's" into things that agree with God.
What if God really, truly loves me?
What if He wants to use my life to touch the world around me?
What if He has given me everything I need to live an amazing life?
This is glorified imagination. Going down this path will fill your heart with hope!
My spiritual daughter, Ashley, had an experience with the Lord, like a vision, where He took her into a train station. She could literally feel the air from the train pushing against her face and back.
She was thinking, "Hey, I hate trains."
Jesus was like, "Let yourself go." And the wind totally held her up.
He said, "That's abiding in peace."
Then they walked onto the train together, but it was still moving really fast. He was telling her the importance of abiding in peace and asked if she wanted to see something cool.
She said, "Yes."
They got off the train, and the station was very crowded. Everyone was frozen in place, and Jesus said, "Watch this."
He went and began to change people's faces, their expressions.
Then He said, "You try it."
They literally ran through the crowd, taking casts off people and taking their crutches. They would just stretch out the person's legs or arms and they were healed. Then she and Jesus got back on the train, and He spoke this to her heart, “You can travel faster in peace than any other way.”
You see, worry is actually a mis-use of your imagination but living in peace grounds you in supernatural power. If you are in fear, you can't clearly hear His voice. If you allow your heart to be troubled, you won't be able to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit as He guides you in your life choices.
Living in peace is the starting place for accomplishing everything else God has called you to do!
Breaking Up with Fear is ENTRY FOUR in our blog series, Beneath the Surface. Did this message speak to your heart? It would thrill us if you'd share it with the women under your influence and other ministry wives.
Ministry wife Beth L. Olson and her husband, Christopher, have been married and in the ministry for 19 years. The couple has four children and currently serve at Heartland Church (Ankeny, IA). Beth shared that her lifelong value of peace has shaped much of her ministry. "I don't mean the kind of peace that is the absence of confrontation necessarily, but peace that grows into joy that is your strength to fulfill your God-given destiny." In her free time, Beth enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks, and learning new things. "My greatest passion in ministry is to help people experience God's presence and launch from there into a life of strength and victory." To read more from Beth, head over to her site, www.bethlolson.com .
Beth is an author/blogger/health coach, helping you get healthy--body, mind, and spirit--so you can live in deep peace. She loves to spend her time writing, strategizing, and coaching. Each Monday morning she publishes a blog post to get you set up for a successful start to your week.