Monday, November 4, 2013

Seeking a Peaceful Heart

So speaking of surrender... I still struggle with it a little at times, but overall it is so much more peaceful that I sometimes ask myself what is wrong with me that it took me YEARS to get to that point.  Why did I make things so much more painful for myself, and why did I get so depressed and so whiny and have so much difficulty believing in God's plan and His love?

But even stranger than that, why would I not give up any of those times of questioning/pain/doubt?

Once again, Father Jacques Philippe has the answer.  I finished reading "Interior Freedom" and it was so good that I got another one of his books called "Searching for and Maintaining Peace."  And in the first chapter I found this:

Apart from Me, you can do nothing, Jesus said (John 15:5) he did not say, "you can't do much," but, you can do nothing. It is essential that we be persuaded of this truth. We often have to experience failures, trials and humiliations, permitted by God, before this truth imposes itself on us, not only on an intellectual level, but as an experience of our entire being. God would spare us, if He could, all these trials, but they are necessary in order that we should be convinced or our complete powerlessness to do good by ourselves. 

Exactly.

While it took me a while to figure this out, but this is why I don't regret all those times of being a whiny butt and all those times where the baggage took me under and I couldn't get out by myself. I'm not proud of those times, and I don't wish to go back, but I needed them.  Had I started with this surrender, I would have been pretty proud of myself for being such a wonderful Christian.  I wouldn't have understood how much I needed God, and how much I am completely incapable on my own.  And further, I would not have understood when others went through the same problems.

Father Philippe goes on to talk about the fact that once we realize that we can do nothing without Him, it brings a certain peace of heart where we can allow Him to work in us.  He used the example of a lake and the more calm and peaceful it is, the more it can reflect the beauty around it.  And so we need peace to reflect God.

I admit that in the last couple of weeks that I have been struggling a little with peace.  The last couple of holidays have been worse for me in October, as I hope for something to change in the last second so that these holidays will be different and added to it, I start comparing my childless life to all my friends' cute kids in Halloween costumes.  Wouldn't you know that we talked about Peter walking on the water in Bible study this week?  I was reminded that Peter walked on the water just fine when his eyes were on Jesus, but when he looked out at the wind and the waves, he started to sink.  So I'm trying to get my eyes away from all of that and back on Him, and things are settling down and I can go back to enjoying all the cute kiddos and the good things in my life right now.

Okay, it's late and I was up early working out, so I'm starting to ramble.  How about a couple of visuals of how well my stirred up heart reflects Him compared to the way a peaceful heart does.


Still beautiful, but only reflecting a few bright spots.
A little ruffled, but as the calmness increases, so does the reflection.

There it is.  May I someday reflect God like this!




5 comments:

  1. Searching for and Maintaining Peace - is one of my top 5 favorite books of all time! I was just thinking I needed to read it again. I think this was God's nudge to get on that! :)

    Breathtaking pictures. Thank you.

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  2. Umm all the pictures are beautiful! Yes, maintaining the peace has been a struggle especially as I was not invited to a baby shower until the last minute(like day before on a face.book invite) of one of my maids of honor! I was so pissed off but JJ talked me off the ledge and reminded me what God has been doing in me lately. It sounds like these books are great, I think I need to put them on my Christmas wish list :) Praying that you continue to have peace!

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  3. I'm so glad you like "Interior Freedom"!! That book was world-altering for me. I'm reading a retreat by him now: "The way of trust and love" (about St. Therese). The first few pages are good =)

    LOVE the analogy and the pictures! Peace is so great...anxiety sucks. It's so hard to be like the calm lake!

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  4. I think the hard part to finding peace is being willing to surrender all of it, our hopes, dreams and plans. Trying to find that balance between what we can and should plan and work for, and what we can only be open to, is so difficult.

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  5. This is exactly what I needed to read today, especially wanting to share it with my husband. Both of us need to focus on Jesus so we don't sink.

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