His question has stuck with me all week: “If you didn’t have (this problem), what would be left?” He named the word he chose (it was love) and suggested other words other people chose, but the word that came immediately to mind for me was peace.
I thought on times when I felt deadline pressures, relationship struggles, and fearful anticipation of lab results. I thought on times the bills overwhelmed and resources were slim. I thought about what felt like endless tasks that would never be completed. In any of those circumstances, if I didn’t have that problem to focus on, what would be left? What if I focused on what remained instead? What if I focused on peace?
There was a season where I was paralyzed by anxiety. I used to create milestones to peace–if I just get (here) or just do (this) or just call (them), then everything will be ok. But the Lord spoke to me undeniably and told me, “There is no safe place. I am your safe place.”
1 Answer me when I call to you,
O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people ruin my reputation?
How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies? Interlude
3 You can be sure of this:
The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
The Lord will answer when I call to him.
4 Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent.
5 Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the Lord.
6 Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
7 You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. (Psalm 4, NLT, emphasis added)
Lord, when I take my eyes off of you, my peace leaves. But when I keep my focus on you, I can walk through troubles. You may not take the storm away, but you take me through the storm. You give me great joy and sweet peace so that I can lie down and rest. You alone, Lord, will keep me safe. Nothing can separate me from your love.