Making peace with the missing pieces

In my last post I shared at length about how sometimes I get anxious and how I am trying to work on letting God “take the wheel” in my life. This week I encountered a situation that left me spiraling again and someone said to me “just sit in the awkwardness”… What a weird piece of advice for someone who stresses about everything! The next day, I caught a few minutes of Steve Furtick’s sermon and he said “we need to make peace with the missing pieces”. That night, I picked up my bible and this is the verse that was on my readings for the day:

This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea…”

Isaiah 48: 17-18 NIV

Coincidence? I think not! You see a few days ago, I got so overwhelmed, I was feeling like perhaps praying had outlived its usefulness in my life. I did not even know where to start in the place of prayer so I decided not to bother. I was feeling very discontent with a few things in my life: health of my loved ones, finances, parenting choices, progress in my studies, the state of my career, marriage- everything was under a microscope and I was grossly discontent. This left me feeling defeated and devoid of peace- yes like there are missing pieces in every aspect of my life! And if you know me, I like things neat and tidy and metaphorically wrapped up in a bow, I do not do missing pieces well. In my despair, the scripture above hit me hard and touched me deep…. “I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is best for you and directs you in the way you should go and if only you had listened then you would have had peace like a river and you would have wellness of mind, body , soul and spirit like the waves of the sea”

As I reflected on the root cause of my anxiety and despair, I realized it mostly stems from unrealized expectations, broken dreams, unanswered prayers- pretty much life not going the way I hope and envisioned (which reminds me of my last post about hope. If you have not read it here is the link). Truth is life is messy and that’s just it! We were created from messiness- from the dust of the earth- by a God who did not call us forth from the dust but who got down and dirty in the dust to make us. So whenever life feels messy, who else can you turn to but God?

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:13-14 NIV

As I was walking away from the TV screen pondering over Steve Furtick’s statement about making peace with the missing pieces, he said “has it ever occurred to you that that missing piece is a piece only God can fill?” I have not stopped thinking about that statement in light of everything else I have shared. I know sometimes it is hard to turn to God, particularly when you feel He has disappointed you- by not answering a particular prayer, or leaving your hopes dashed or your dreams unfulfilled. But remember, while all we see are the pieces of our lives and the things that don’t fit, God sees the full picture. Which is why He says, if only you had listened to me, then your peace would have been like a river- in spite of what seems missing in your life because He sees the full picture. For thus says the Lord: “before you were formed, I knew you and from your mother’s womb I spoke your name, see I have engraved you in the palm of my hands and your walls are ever before me (Isaiah 49:1, 16; Jeremiah 1:5). So my question to you is “will you sit still in the awkwardness of life for just a moment longer?”; “will you make peace with the missing pieces of your life by finding peace in the Prince of Peace?”

Yours Truly

Advent Calendar day 24: Christmas Eve 2021

Finally we have come to the last day of the advent season and tomorrow is Christmas day…. How exciting! And be today, I end this series with a verse from an old Christmas Hymn: O Holy Night

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Adolphe Adam

This past year, the media has been rife with stories of discrimination, racism and many other oppressive practices world wide. In my own life, this year was filled with lots of strife at work and so this hymn is a comforting reminder that Jesus’ gospel, his purpose on earth is to bring and restore peace between God and man, man with himself and with others. His promise and what he offers is that in His name all oppression must and will cease and we will all be reconciled one to another and to God.

So on this Christmas eve, my prayer is that every oppression in your life ceases in Jesus’ name and may the peace of God rest in your homes and in your gatherings as you celebrate the birth and return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas from my home to yours.

Yours Truly

On the third day of Christmas…

On the third day of Christmas, JESUS gave to me Peace in my Heart, Everlasting Life, and Salvation full and free.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9: 6 ESV

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT

The peace that Jesus promises is not one that is the absence of chaos and turmoil but one in spite of. It is that blessed assurance that regardless of the present circumstances grace has got you and you are not alone. It is living this conviction every day:

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43: 2 NLT

But this peace just like salvation is a gift of God and you can choose to not accept it. You can choose to worry and fret about the what-ifs and the current happenings in your life. My advice: accept the gift of peace of mind and heart in this season. Let not your heart be troubled. Jesus has overcome the world!

Yours truly.