This week I had an unexpected surgery. Out of the blue. I was doing great and three hours later, I felt like truck had run over me and was in the hospital.
I knew something was very very wrong. My left knee had blown up like a balloon, was very sore and hot to touch. This was particularly troubling because I had just had knee cap surgery 9 weeks before and had been warned about the dangers of infection...
To make a long story short... I am doing well. In 24 hours my knee was cultured, I found out that I had an awful knee infection, I had surgery (again!) and am now in the hospital on iv antibiotics. I feel much better but the doctors say I must stay here for a little while. Not quite what I wanted to hear! And my fever is jumping all over the readings on the thermometer! Not great news.
But I am at peace about it all!
One very big thing I had going for me was PRAYER! I have the most wonderful group of bible study women who are real prayer warriors and one of my dear friends got the word out quick.
My family is continually lifting me up in prayer too!
I also have an army of facebook friends that are so generous in their prayers and good thoughts!
I am so thankful beyond words for all the prayers and continuing prayers they are raising up before the Lord in my behalf.
I could really "feel" the prayers for me.
How you ask?
I felt a peace that went far beyond my circumstances! I felt a "shalom" or wholeness in all of my circumstances even though some of the outcomes of my problems could have been very serious and still are a little troublesome.
This really got me thinking...
What is the connection between prayer and peace? And what does the sovereignty of God have to do with all of that?
This is a very familiar verse in the Bible...
Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.
No where in God's word does it say to pray and God will give you just what you want! God is not a Santa Clause or even a Tooth Fairy. HE is THE KING! A benevolent, all-loving KING! A King with a plan for our very best, that far exceeds what we can see or imagine. His plan is one for eternity!
You see prayer, true prayer is an act of faith. It shows God that you believe in Him. In all He says... in all He is... in all He can do. It also says that you believe that He is SOVEREIGN.
It is an act of spiritually bowing down before the KING of everything and bringing your wants and needs before him. It is believing that He will give us the peace He promises... a peace... a shalom that we will experience in spite of our circumstances. Prayer is trusting our all knowing, all wise, all just, all merciful, all powerful, all gracious KING to do not only right by us, but best for us! Even if it is not what we want!
Let's get back to these wonderful verses above and take a look at what they say...
Don't worry... in the closest translation to the original Greek it really says don't be anxious. The word anxious is "merimnao'" . It is the idea of being drawn in opposite directions, of a part ripped away from the whole, moving away from the whole.
This is stunning when we look at the word for peace. "Shalom" means total wholeness. A state of perfection... all the parts of us working together and in harmony.. the way our great Creator intended.
So, when we worry or are anxious our wholeness is disturbed and pulled apart. Isn't that so fascinating? God knows!
God says don't worry about anything. Don't let anything steal or pull apart your shalom! The bible speaks in many places about worry. It says it can't do one thing to help any circumstance. It is a thief. It steals our peace and the bible says it weighs us down.
Worry is such a natural reaction. When we start to listen and heed that part of us, we need to pray all the more! Worry hurts us. Concern is different from worry!
The next part of the verse says to tell God what we want and thank Him for what He has done. I love the idea that I can come before the Throne of all creation and boldly request things of God.But that is only half of it... we must remember to always tell Him thank you for His grace... His undeserved blessing to us for they are countless and wonderful! And just like any parent God loves when we recount the good He has done for us! It's a way of showing God we love Him.
And the peace... shalom... wholeness of God which exceeds...
Exceeds is the idea of being so superior to anything else, so far above and beyond it's inconceivable!
And that above and beyond, superior wholeness will guard...
Guard is a word that depicts a sentinel, a military armed guard protecting us. So this peace, this wholeness will be an like an armed, trained military guard over our mind and our heart. It will keep worry and all the demons of fear and things that are ungodly out of our thoughts, emotions, will and intellect.
And who is this promise for? For those IN CHRIST. Those who are in an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Let's put this together....
Do not worry or be pulled apart by anything. But instead, pray about everything! Run to God and tell Him your needs, your story, pour it all out! And remember to tell Him thank you. Remember what He has done for you in the past and the way He worked in your life and tell Him about it in a thankful way.
And because you are in a saving relationship with His son Jesus, God will put a guard as big and as strong as an armed military man around your mind and your heart. He will bring a wholeness to your life that exceeds your circumstances and is far above and beyond what you ever could have imagined!
I don't know about you... but that is how I want to live.
I know that there are much bigger problems than a knee infection. And life is filled with uncertainty.
But I also know that worry is an enemy and it tries to steal our emotions and clear thinking. God however is the giver and guarder of our mind and heart (mind, will ,emotion and intellect) and wants to guard them so we can experience our best thinking, our best emotional stability our best decisions in bad situations. He wants to bring His wonderful wholeness into our times of trial and crisis!
I pray that in your times of crisis you run towards God and let Him supply His peace to you and your situation!