Peace. It's a word that has eluded me in the last month. Not because God doesn't give me peace, but because I refused to accept it. In my earlier blog, The Tale of Two Cites, I shared how I have been wrestling with a decision to join a church plant team and move back to my hometown. I shared that my husband received a word from the Lord to "stay" and so here we stay. Although I have a tremendous amount of respect for my husband and know that he hears from God; I was still unsettled in the matter because I wanted to hear a word too! It's kinda the control issue in me that I'm trying to work on. ;)
Well, after many journal entries, hardcore prayer and pursing the Holy Spirit, we have both received the word "stay". I am thankful that the Lord is patient with me. So thankful! In the midst of my quiet time, He brought confirmation. As I read 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, I knew instantly that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me, however it was not the word I wanted to hear. So figuring I wasn't hearing correctly I started researching the context of the Scripture and the background information about this particular passage. Here's the kicker, every additional piece of information only confirmed it further. After about an hour of denial, I finally relented. BUT, I now have peace. Perfect Peace.
Have you ever been where I was? Lacking peace. Discontent in your circumstances. I learned two very important things in my Jonah moment.
1) The Lord is patient and will wait for me to be obedient.
2) The Lord has appointed my circumstances and I need to serve Him where He's placed me.
All in all, the Lord is asking me to be content. Contentment is the confidence and quiet peace to accept our circumstances and serve God, knowing he's the one who appointed them. The apostle Paul repeated the importance of contentment in Philippians 4:11, stating to be content in whatever circumstances he is in. I am not saying that you can never move, but the Lord will make it very clear if it is His Will for you to move. In our case, we are to remain and serve.
While Brian and I were talking about this, he shared a footnote he had found in his Bible under the passage in 1 Corinthians. It read "Often we are so concerned about what we could be doing for God somewhere else that we miss great opportunities right where we are." Isn't' that a wonderful reminder when we are feeling discontented. Great opportunities are right around the corner, don't miss them because you are dreaming of what could be! God appointed our circumstances and it is our responsibility to serve him with joy where we are. With a new focus, I am turning my dreams into reality right where I am! Serve the Lord with gladness and come before him with joyful songs!
Until the whole world hears,