Following a Category 5 hurricane, one is forced to adjust to the new norm rather quickly.
So…clothes will be handwashed for a while; showers cold; cooking options limited and access to electricity and telecommunication severely restricted.
All of this I was expecting, having experienced the aftermath of a Category 2 hurricane three years earlier.
But I was unprepared for the looting.
No, they didn’t try to burglarize my home. It was much worse.
People attempted to pilfer my peace.
Sadly, they succeeded because I gave them access.
Let me explain.
In the process of getting the various services restored, certain companies would get in touch. One in particular quickly developed a reputation for being unreliable. They would say one thing, and do differently. They would make appointments then not show up, seemingly oblivious to the inconvenience they incurred.
I felt my blood pressure rise with each ensuing contact. I was incensed at their careless disregard for our time and apparently us.
It came to the point that the very mention of their name upset my demeanor and my spirit.
That is when I was stopped in my tracks.
It occurred to me that I had given these people, who were clueless of, and cared nothing for, my actual existence control over me.
While I ranted and raved, they continued to flourish regardless.
Who was I actually hurting?
I had unwittingly allowed open access to my peace of mind and it was being eroded slowly.
Do you do that?
Get upset at the person who cut you off in traffic, or the one who stole the parking space, or the colleague whose work is recognized while you slave tirelessly?
While you fume and fret, what is that person doing? Are they even aware that you are upset? Probably not.
So why do we give other people the power to pilfer our peace?
And that peace is such a precious commodity.
Proverbs 4:23 (GNT) reminds us, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”
We simply cannot afford to be robbed of our peace as it affects every aspect of our lives.
Furthermore, as Christians, it is during those tempestuous times that we can effectively witness to others. They should see that God-given peace exuding from us and become curious as to the source.
Colossians 3:15 admonishes us to, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…”
And He promises to give us His special peace. In John 14:27 (GNT) Jesus says, “It is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset…”
So the next time you’re faced with an upsetting situation, or you’re tempted to join a friend in commiserating over mutual woes, whisper a prayer for peace. It’s the kind that no one can take away from you.