Finding peace in anxious times.
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“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 New Living Translation
On our recent trip to Tanzania, we walked through a wooden gate into a small community made up of five or so homes to visit Deborah and one of her children. She lived in a mud home with no windows. We saw no furniture of any kind, only her small collection of kitchen items. Suddenly, her neighbors appeared carrying stools and a bench from their homes so we could sit while we visited with her. In talking to her, through a translator, we learned that the grave we passed as we entered the gate was her husband’s grave. He died a few months previously in a hospital, leaving her to raise her 6 children (two of whom were 2 year old twins). She was so very sad, yet thankful for her community. She shared with us her desire for a good home for her family. She and her husband had collected the rebar which leans against the wall of her home to reinforce the brick they hoped to buy one day to build a proper home. She hoped her children would have a better life. She longs for more work than just selling a few vegetables in a nearby community. Her days are soaked in sadness. She needs peace—a calm heart.
Isn’t that what we all need? Right now there is not a lot of calm in our world or our hearts. And as the holidays approach calmness seems achingly far away whether we are missing a loved one like Deborah, concerned for our country, anxious about our jobs or our family, or with any of the abundant worries we carry in our hearts right now.
But in the midst of our anxiety I think we often forget just how loving and powerful our God is.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 New Living Translation
“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 New Living Translation
”The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14 New Living Translation
He saves us and fights for us! In love, He calms our fears. He gifts us with peace of mind and peace of heart. He even rejoices over us! Look to Him and let His love wash over you. His love will overcome fear. His peace will calm your troubled heart.
Text and photo copyright Desiree Bustamante