Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Amazing Peace of God

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

How crazy can our world get in just a few days time? Oh, it take mere minutes for normalcy to swiftly descend into uncertainty or chaos. All it takes is a few words from a boss, those words that say we've done what we can, but we need to shut down until after the 1st of the year.

While you're thinking about those words, think about being my husband, hearing those words at 6:00 in the morning, wanting nothing more than to call home, but he doesn't because he's thoughtful and doesn't want to wake me to deliver bad news. So instead he sat and stewed on it for a few hours before calling.

Then he did call me, and while that uncertainty and chaos was standing right there at the door, I tell you, I smiled at them, and politely closed the door in their face. When Andy told me yesterday morning that he had about a week left of work for the year, it was like I already knew that. It was like I knew it was coming, and all I could do was smile and accept it. I'll tell you exactly what it was, it was the Peace of God taking over completely. It wasn't that long ago I would have been freaking out at this point. In fact, I'll tell you it was exactly two years ago that I was freaking out at this point. Andy's company was running out of work, so he took another job to get us through winter. It was the worst job Andy's ever worked. He was treated poorly, paid poorly, and hated every minute of it. Yet we both thought that he was doing what God wanted him to be doing- providing for his family.

This time, we're not going to be so hasty.

Somehow, I knew that announcement was coming, and somehow, when Andy told me that, I felt a ripple of joy run through me from top to bottom. The best thing I could compare it to is finding out that you're actually pregnant. That day when you finally take the test, the line shows up, and a wave of joy sweeps through you- but at the same time there is great trepidation, because your whole world is going to change as a result of this new child coming into your life. Fear mixes a little with the joy, but there's nothing you can do about it now except pray about it, and experience all the ups and downs that come with being pregnant.

Really, it's exactly like that.

Andy always has down time every year, but usually it's after Christmas. Usually, about this time every year I start stocking up the pantry and freezer to prepare us for eating from the pantry and freezer as much as possible. I can certainly look around me and see that we are not prepared for his lay off time, but honestly? It really doesn't do me any good to dwell on the fact that Andy could very well come home from work next Tuesday and not go back until 2010. If I sit and dwell on all that is wrong with this scenario, I may very well miss out on whatever exciting thing God has planned for us. And that's what's giving me great joy about this whole situation.

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." Revelation 3:7-8

God is about to open up a door for us that n o one can shut. He is shutting a door with Andy's work for a reason- we both see that. And I am so excited to see how God provides for us- because I know He will! He has promised in His Word that He will provide all our needs, according to HIS riches! I believe exactly what this verse says, because I have a God who is rich beyond measure, and when He provides for our needs, I expect He will provide abundance.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

He really already has! In the last few weeks, we have had a few different people give us apples. Just because. We love apples, and while most of them have not been good for eating, they've made the best pies and crisps and breads and applesauce- and we've been loving the abundance. A few weeks before that, we picked and canned an abundance of pears- as I live and breathe, while I prepped pears for canning, God was multiplying them in my basket, because we canned way more than we harvested. I totally know that God can do so much more than just provide apples and pears- I know that God is going to bless us completely!

One of the things that is going to be done during this time is we're going to be drawing closer to God, and seeking out what He would have us do. Normally, when Andy has time off every year, he has plans! He's busy working with high schools or remodeling some one's house. This is catching us unawares, and he is going to have plenty of time to spend with God. God's provision, we expect is going to come through those unexpected phone calls about things that Andy can do for people. But we're also expecting supernatural provision. I'm expecting that when I walk out to the garden and harvest my chard for the freezer, there's going to end up being far more in the freezer than what I've harvested. I expect that the bucket of rice I have in the pantry will not empty, no matter how much I scoop out of it. And I expect that God is going to put people in our lives to provide what we need exactly when we need it. God's already done that! As a simple example, Abigail needs new pants. She was recently given a gift card for Old Navy, so we're going to go this weekend and pick out a few new pairs of pants for her.

God's going to provide each and every thing we need, and while we're trusting, we're seeking, because He's got plans for us. He's got big plans that even we can't begin to imagine. He's got doors for us to step through that we haven't even seen yet, and we're going to go through them quickly. I can't wait to come back here and share exactly what God is doing. I can't wait to have that week where every day, I pop on here and tell about yet another thing that God has provided for us. In fact, I expect that tomorrow I will have something to share- I'm just that full of peace about this whole situation.

For the first time ever, we are approaching Andy's lay-off time filled with joy, gladness, and expectation. We are trusting completely in God, and because of that trust and the faith that we are finding within, God is blessing us already with His wonderful peace. God is just so awesome! I hope you'll stick around for the ride to come- because it's going to be a great one!

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