Peace doesn’t always rely on our circumstances. Praying peace into your life can bring it into perspective.
Just when we’d thought we’d finished with the emotional roller coaster called 2020, we got slammed with 2021. The pandemic and political scene alone could turn a peaceful soul into a bundle of nerves. And the resulting pandemonium leads to the question, is it even possible to have a peaceful response to things like pandemics, overdue bills, and hormones?
I have faced this question before.
It started the day after Christmas when my mom, 18-month-old daughter Laura, and I decided to shop the day-after-Christmas sales at the mall. Mom and I loved pushing our adorable Laura in her stroller as she played peek-a-boo with the hem of her dress. I couldn’t help but giggle when I told my toddler, “No, no, Laura, ladies don’t pull their dresses over their heads.”
But after I put the discounted Christmas decorations into the trunk of our car, the short drive home rocked my world.
Brakes screeched, cars collided, metal ripped, and Laura’s car seat landed in the middle of the freeway. I crawled out of my shredded sedan and ran to my daughter. I knelt in the mud and sought God for her life as an ambulance wailed in the distance.
Three months later, the hospital staff surrounded me with their prognosis, “There’s no hope. Half your daughter’s brain has been destroyed. Your daughter will be a vegetable until she’s eighty.”
Later that night, I sat on a stool and held my precious daughter’s hand, I suddenly felt so alone, as if my whole world had been swallowed by a tornado. I was jarred most by God’s silence.
As I sat in the shadows, my eyes fell on my bottle of pain reliever, and a new plan formed. I could swallow the pills and unplug my daughter’s ventilator and the two of us could escape this living hell. This idea was the only thing that made sense. God hadn’t intervened and our lives were beyond repair.
It was the thought of Job, the ancient Biblical great, who gave me pause. As it seems, Job also lived a life beyond repair. He’d lost his health, possessions, livelihood, and children. He was wrongly denounced as a sinner by his best friends and his wife told him to ‘Curse God and die.’
And God was silent.
Job’s response to all this heartbreak was trust. He even said, “Even if he slays me, I will hope in him.”
In the darkness of my midnight hour, Job’s prayer inspired me to pray, “Lord, I’m going to trust You and give You this terrible mess to see what You can do with it.”
That night, God met me and though I continued to experience heartache, I also experienced undeniable peace and joy and enjoyed multiple blessings as my daughter woke from a coma and had an MRI that showed her brain had regenerated.
So had my life. Despite all my hardships and heartache, the Lord regenerated me.
I faced constant challenges as I cared for a child on a ventilator, but God got me through. He taught me the secret to peace in difficulty, and that secret goes back to the words of Job’s prayer, “even if you slay me, yet I will trust in you.”
Peace is About Trust
The secret to peace, as it turns out, is not having perfect control over our lives, not always having the best of luck, breaks, timing, family, coworkers, bosses, employment, or even political rest or pandemic cures.
The secret to peace is learning how to trust God through it all.
Like it did in my life, prayer can play a big part in your peace transformation.
In my latest book, Praying Through Every Emotion, I created prayers based on my Bible study of over 70 different emotions. Praying paraphrased Scriptures helps you light the difficult places of your life with God’s living word.
If both Job and I can find peace through the power of prayer, I know God can help you do the same.
Linda Evans Shepherd is the leader behind the Arise Esther Movement, Arise Esther Virtual Conference and Arise U. She is a bestselling author of over 36 books including Praying Through Every Emotion. She also founded the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Leading Hearts Magazine, and Arise Daily, a daily e-devotional.