Peace Under Pressure – Stress Mess
Key Bible Verse: And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. – Colossians 3:15
Bonus Reading: Philippians 4:6-7
In the early 1960s, my load in the grocery company was heavy. Several close co-workers were in open conflict, and I had to referee. I was still traveling a lot on the lay-preaching circuit. We had three small children. About seven o’clock one evening, I left the office, trudged down the long, steep stairs to my car, and headed home. Several urgent choices involving business, travel, and family faced me. I felt indecisive on every front. My stomach churned.
As I drove toward home, I tried to pray, generically committing the whole mess to God. Suddenly there came to my mind Colossians 3:15. This familiar scripture hit me like a shaft of calmness from heaven.
Immediately I knew what God was saying to me. “Howard, never go against your deepest sense of peace. Never ignore your sense of inner agitation, of uneasy disquiet, that intuitive buzzing. That unquiet feeling is telling you to back off, not to plunge ahead just to get rid of the issue. It doesn’t matter who gets upset or whom you disappoint. Forget who cheers or who boos. Follow the relaxation in your gut.”
It was a life-changing moment for me. To this very day that wait-for-the-calm principle clarifies my decision-making.
—Howard Butt Jr. in Who Can You Trust?
My Response: One area in which I need to wait for the calm is …
Thought to Apply: Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace. Whenever peace doesn’t come, tarry till it does or find out why it doesn’t.—Oswald Chambers
Adapted from Who Can You Trust? (Crossway, 2002)
Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, show me how my misguided thinking leads me down the path of worry and fear; help me to see that no problem is bigger than you and your love; may you be glorified by the peace I experience in times of trial.