The Fitting Room – Chapters 8 and 9 from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.
It’s that itty-bitty word that carries a world of promise, isn’t it?
I’ve searched for it my whole life and always felt like I was one step away from obtaining it. If I could just get ahead on my mortgage, go a few months without bickering with my husband, find a way to take daily baths with candles and soft music…
Then peace might just be mine.
The irony of it is that the harder we try to make “peace” happen, the more elusive it is. Because we realize we can’t take baths every day (if you can, please don’t leave a comment here announcing it, because you might get pummeled by us frazzled friends:)) and we can’t seem to step outside our flesh enough to feel like we have achieved it.
You know those little music-player things at Target that advertise little snippits of CD’s? The ones where you can push a button and hear the overly relaxed, slightly-British and well-rehearsed lady say, “The Isles of Capri…A place you can only afford to go by pushing number seven on the pictured keypad…” and then the piano plays and all the world is right for 17 seconds? Yeah. Well, I have been convinced on more than one occasion that by buying one of these suckers, I will become suddenly and irrevocably peaceful, and when I ask the kids to set the table it will come out like a sedated British woman instead of the harried, ponytailed mom who wants to have words with anyone remotely related to Calgon.
I may have gotten carried away.
But surely you are with me on this one.
Where do you look? Where have you searched for peace?
One of my absolute favorite sentences in this book is on page 113, and it says, “The ‘world’ gives peace only in the way that it can give, which is prone to punctures.”
Punctures. Yes. That’s what those little holes are that keep deflating my carefully inflated balloon of peace.
For years I have heard people talk about the peace that can only come from Christ, and in fact, I have felt it. What I haven’t been able to articulate until reading these chapters is the way it is intricately bound to other virtues, and without those, we cannot truly have peace. It is what we all long for, and if you are someone who has ever stopped in a Target aisle or dreamed of a night with hot water and bubbles, I have good news for you.
You are closer than you think.
The Lord longs to bless you with peace no matter where you stand (or lie, for that matter) and His peace is not to be compared to any other lesser thing disguised as such.
Join us as we discuss chapters 8 & 9…and may peace be yours this week.
We are praying for you in our best British accents.
Ang, Jess, and the (in)courage girlsLeave a Comment
Seed: What struck me from these chapters was the idea that Christ in me is Peace, and the key to tapping into that Peace is developing a repentant, obedient heart.
Water: Kelly pointed out that “THE” verse on peace in Philippians 4 is followed by the verse that tells us to focus on what is “pure” and “lovely.” Where do my thoughts dwell? Am I allowing God’s Word to renew my mind?
Grow: I love it that Kelly points out that “peace is not tame” (page 106). I pray that every day I see the reality of Christ’s peace in my life fleshed out. He has been so good to me!
DeAnn Miller says
Seed: The disobedience towards God I have practiced for so long has put me in the storm I am in today. When his peace and love were right there all along for me to have, but I would have nothing to do with it. I feel guilty for not showing my children his way.
Water: Last night I got down on my knees and prayed for forgiveness from my soul and tears of shame poured out of me.
Grow: I pray for a willing spirit, I pray for him to forgive me and I pray to forgive myself.
Peace will come but I must weather this storm.
I loved this chapter… and what is even more amazing is that I am also reading Hidden Joy with a Bible Study group and guess what this weeks chapter focused on? You guessed it… Peace! God is so good!
Seed: I want- need- the peace that passes all understanding. God is the way to that peace. I am so glad His peace can be everlasting. IT is through diligently staying in His word and letting that Word engulf me that I can find that peace, no matter my circumstances.
Water: Phil 4:8-9… Be deliberate in my thinking. STop negative thoughts and replace them with positive.
Bloom: If I have inner peace through God, it will affect my family and my circumstances. It may not all be like a bed of roses, but I will start ignoring the thorns and looking at the beauty of the flowers.
Nicole @Team Pipkin says
With me I feel more peaceful when I’m reading my bible daily. I am more calm. When I pack my days running from one activity to another and do not have time to read my bible is when I get frazzled….not a peace. I’m snapping at everyone. Now that summer is here & kids are home full time I have to set my days to add in reading my bible. Maybe that is early in the morning when they are still sleeping. I loved this two chapters on peace.
I loved these chapters on peace… especially following the ones on forgiveness. I’m guilty of wanting peace but not fighting for it (p. 112)!! Bitterness & lack of forgiveness cannot co-exist with peace in my heart. I must fight the urge to wallow in self-pity so that I can walk in obedience and have that peace.
Seed: Peace is a by-product of holy living. Is seeking to know God and obey Him my greatest desire?
Water: Get rid of those things that distract me from pursuing a relationship with God. Make time in the Word and in prayer the highest priority. Listen for His leading. Obey.
Bloom: Peace in the midst of the most trying times – the knowledge that, “The lips of truth cannot promise more than the hands of love will surely give.” (loved that entire quote from Spurgeon on p. 115!!)
There is no peace if there is not first grace, because it is through this grace we are forgiven and can have a secure relationship with God and that relationship brings peace to our restless souls.
God longs for His people’s hearts to be at rest, even if our circumstances are far from restful.
I love these two quotes……especially the last one. I need to be reminded that God does want me to be worrisome, or fearful or unable to trust Him in the times when I feel like my circumstances are out of control or I am in the midst of a trial. He wants me, longs for me to be at rest. My rest, my peace is in Him.
A little late here due to going away on vacation, but wanted to add anyway:
What struck me most in these chapters is the link between obedience and peace. WOW! I feel like I have grasped something I haven’t made much sense out of before. “Righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Psalm 85: 10).
David’s prayer of Psalm 32 really jumped out at me as well. “When I kept silent my bones wasted away… For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as by the summer’s heat. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity… and you forgave the guilt of my sin… You are my hiding place… the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him.” Beautiful! I grabbed my Bible after reading this chapter and just read the whole psalm and meditated on it for a while, and even sang it! I need to think about this some more but it is a very clear message. Kelly, thank you for your insight!