Page 280 is a good example of why I actually like the long Wednesday and Friday workdays. I was able to sleep in (which for me has now become anything past 8 AM) this morning, but more importantly, Susan was able to sleep in even longer. Today was a nice summer day and tomorrow is supposed to be a fall-like day which keeps things interesting — especially in Susan’s seizure-producing brain, so it’s good to let her sleep when she can. While not a workday, I spent a good part of the morning with God trying to come up with a poem that I’ve been asked to share. The words that do come don’t seem appropriate, fitting, or polite and since I still have those filters working most of the time, I keep seeking God’s face for the right words. Lunch was pork chops slow-cooked on the pellet grill and then I spent some time playing games and going through yesterday’s photo.
The photo on today’s page is one I took during my lunch break yesterday as the sun broke through the clouds. It was a peaceful scene that reminded me of God’s generosity in pouring out the light of His Spirit on His children. It also made me wonder how much of that light is visible through us within the dark world we live in. God says that He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast in their trust of Him. While that is easy to read, it is difficult to believe and even harder to put into practice. It is so easy to let things and circumstances distract our mind from being steadfast on God’s Word and His love for us. We think we have to “fix” things that are beyond our control and ability so our peace slowly slips away as we realize our attempts at control are not accomplishing what we hoped for. When peace dissipates from our life, it is gradually replaced with fear which often turns to anger. I know, I’ve been down that path more often than I would like to admit. When fear and anger show up, a defensive posture and language soon follow. And when our position is indefensible, we begin to attack anyone who holds a view that is different than ours. When we’re in attack mode, there is no room in our life for the steadfast peace that God desires to give us.
So, how do we get this “perfect peace”? For me, at this particular time, a beginning step is to “hide” all social media posts that come from pages that spew hatred and attacks — and it doesn’t matter which candidate for which office is being attacked, it automatically gets a “hide all posts from . . .” click. When the hate-filled posts continue to show up, I then “unfollow” anyone who is consistently “liking”, “sharing”, or commenting on such posts so that these actions don’t show up on my social media timeline. One thing I’ve noticed about doing this, is that I rarely see political posts — no one seems to be posting anything positive about the candidate they support, just hate-filled rhetoric about the opposition. By removing those words and images from my view each day, it becomes easier to keep my mind steadfast on the things of God that it ought to dwell on. It seems our enemy has done a good job of convincing us that our battle is against flesh and blood, so on we fight. My constant prayer through all of this social media cleansing is that God’s people would recognize the real enemy, and it’s not one another — ti’s not even flesh and blood!
I pray that you and I would practice using the filters of reason, common sense, and God’s Word before we communicate in any form. I pray that we would seek the perfect peace that God wants us to have. I pray that we would understand the specific things that distract us from having a mind that is steadfast on the things of God. I pray that we would do whatever it takes to remove the distractions that lead us to fear and anger. I pray that we would put on the full armor of God as we find ourselves in a spiritual battle. I pray that our battle lines would not be drawn against people, but against the forces of evil that operate in the heavenly realms.