Peace of GodWritten by Valerie Garner
Peace of God I found some definitions in several dictionaries that are quite interesting on peace: a state of reconciliation after strife, tranquil, completeness, soundness, well being.
If we're honest to ourselves, isn't that what we're all really searching for? Peace. True peace. Think about when we are craving and feeling like we need a vacation, isn't what's underneath, really a longing for peace? I think we've all probably been on vacations where we return even more exhausted and stressed out than when we left. A vacation doesn't mean peace will come.
In those stressful times when we feel like we just need a break, could it be that we are really looking for peace? What about when we awake in middle of night and can't sleep, what are our thoughts then? Isn't cry of our heart really to find peace? When we feel tired, too much to do in too little time; when we can't even find time to think, isn't it really peace we long for?
I don't know what it's like in other parts of world, but I do know that here in U.S., we live (generally) a life filled with way too much. We have too many commitments, too much to do, and we live a very un-natural pace. A very unhealthy pace I believe. At times it feels as if we live in slavery to our schedules. It seems as though every minute of our day is dictated to us, with very little choice. I don't believe it's supposed to be this way, and I believe there's a way out. If you can relate to this, maybe I can offer some hope.
In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called Prince of Peace. In Psalms 29:11, it promises that, "God gives strength, and blesses His people with peace." In Isaiah 26:3 another promise is, "He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee."
As we focus and think about Jesus Christ, He will put us in peace. Also in Philippians 4:7, "And peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
This kind of peace is NOT an emotion or feeling, but a spiritual force that comes only from Jesus (Colossians 1:20 "and having made peace through blood of his cross, by him to reconcile ALL things unto himself..."
One moment in particular, I experienced this kind of peace when my husband of 13 years left me bascially for another woman. I was left to be a single mom of 2 boys with no job, and no education (I chose to be a stay at home mom). We were poor even with my husband's income, and I had no family to help. I was alone. I didn't know if I could make it. If any of you have experienced this, you will relate to devastation that comes.
The night he packed his bags to move out, as soon as he shut door behind him, I felt my very soul begin to shatter. There are simply no words for devastation I was experiencing. I ran to phone (before I collasped), and called my best friend and asked her to come and be with me for a little while. It would take her 20 minutes at least. I sat down and greatly feared this moment that was upon me. To my great surprise, I literally felt peace of God (and His love) fall upon me, there are no words to describe what this feels like, except it's most wonderful feeling you will ever experience.
Spiritual HungerWritten by Valerie Garner
SPIRITUAL HUNGER ---------------------------------------- The definition of this common word, (Hunger) "The state of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, a desire or need for food, ANY strong desire or craving." The parellel between nautral and spiritual, truly is at times uncanny to say least. We all know what natural hunger feels like. What about spiritual hunger? It can feel different to different people but common feelings are: a deep sense of emptiness; feeling like there's no meaning or significance to life; feeling lost; feeling like something is missing but not being able to identify even what is missing; it can be an edgy, gnawing feeling of unknown origin; it can feel like deep sobbing from very center of our soul. These are only a few examples of what spiritual hunger can feel like.
Many, if not most times, when we feel this spiritual hunger we are unaware of what it really is. It does bring discomfort and pain, so we look to soothe that pain. We may fill that with anything...drugs, alcohol, any form of destructive habits, obsessive compulsions, eating disorders, sex, pornography, TV watching, list is extensive. Many times we can also fill that same spiritual hunger with things that look more positive; like filling every second of our lives with busyness, people, family, kids, spouse, sports, entertainment of any kind, shopping, reading, work, list is endless. Not that these things are bad, in and of themselves, but could we be using these things to fill spiritual hunger? I'd encourage you to think about what you tend to turn to when you sense those feelings of spiritual hunger. What are those areas of escape in our lives? There are also some who have been so wounded beyond belief that they simply have lost ability to feel at all, thus masking spiritual hunger with numbness and denial.
We often view that discomfort or pain as an enemy to be quelled, after all, nobody in their right mind likes to hurt. Let's explore that a little further. Look back again at natural hunger (food). If we go too long without food, our tummies hurt, we start getting weak, maybe get a headache and if we go too long we can even start to lose our desire for food. If we keep going like this we will eventually die. Some can go longer than others without food, but end result will always be death. Thus, hunger is actually a very good thing, it signals that we have a very real need for nourishment. This is EXACTLY same thing spiritually. The bible says in Luke 6:21 "Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be filled."