I plop myself down on the church pew. I pull out my Bible and my pen. I’ve never felt so needy in all my life. My daughter hands me a church bulletin.
I’m a people-pleaser. I’ve been that way all my life. That’s why my mother’s house was spotless when I lived there. When I cleaned the house, she’d praise me, and my soul must have soaked it in. Because I worked hard to keep our house clean. I liked my mom coming home from work to a clean house. And when she called me her white tornado, well, I gloried just a bit in that.
While I sat there on the pew, my needy mind reflected back to earlier in the week, when I knew I’d let someone down—
I’d made my way to the dentist’s office for my own repair work and had pondered the situation on the trip there. And as I sat there waiting for the dentist to arrive, I could see the assistant behind me, her back turned away from me. And I thought about the wrongs I’d done. The wrongs I’d been informed about earlier … earlier in the week, earlier in my life. I hadn’t really needed informing, I knew. Oh God, I knew. And my whole body ached to sob. To really sob. More than just a cry. My tummy started convulsing right before me, uncontrollably, as tears gathered in my eyes. This hand went up and wiped away the moisture. The other hand lifted to wipe away moisture. The dental assistant was still turned away from me. No one saw me. No one could see me. Please Lord, don’t let anyone see me. They don’t know my situation, my wrongs. They’ll think I’m crazy. I cannot let them see me cry.
I give myself a pep talk. “Pull it together, Shelli. Put your mind somewhere else.” And I did. And I overcame … for the time being.
And all week, I’m thinking about peace. My Savior came that I could have peace. I know it’s there. It’s at my disposal. So why is my tummy hurting? Why is my mind focusing on the wrong and not the right? Jesus is the right.
And I turn my church bulletin over to the notes section, where I’ll be filling in the blanks. And there I read in bold letters, “JUST WHEN I NEED HIM MOST.” And I wondered if my pastor had read my mind. Did he cater his sermon just for me?
And I prayed quietly, “Lord, I want your peace.”
And it seemed like the Lord said to my heart, “When you need God’s peace, reach for a piece of God …” I quickly scribbled that down. And then it seemed like He whispered to me, “When you need my peace, reach for a piece of me.”
And I began to think about “a piece of God.” What is a piece of God? His Word, His people. A hand. A hug. A listening ear.
And the pastor spoke Philippians 4:19 over the congregation, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
My God is the provider … the provider of needs. The One who fills in my blanks.
It’s His praise I need, and it’s His praise I should long to receive.
Please, Shelli, focus on pleasing the right One. That’s what matters. Fill your heart and head with the right One—the One who cleans our insides, who rights our wrongs, who gave us The Word, who put amazing people in your life to encourage you, to love you …. He’s the amazing tornado. Not you, not anyone else.
And as we bowed our heads to pray, I look over at my sweet daughter’s hand. I reach out and take it. She clasps her hand around mine.
Have you ever disappointed another? How did you overcome? Are you a people-pleaser, like me? How do you reach for God’s peace?
8 thoughts on “When You Need God’s Peace”
The Bible tells us how we should live, but it also says “we can’t and we wont.” So it should come as no surprise that the church is full of disappointed and needy people. Christianity acknowledges that it cannot be followed perfectly, but it provides a peace giving solution in Jesus Christ. You landed in the right place!
Absolutely, Gene. I did land in the right place. I'm so glad it's for the broken, the disappointed, the needy. I love that God is for us …
Oh friend. No wonder we “get” each other. I come from the people-pleasing world too. It's so hard to truly overcome that, and to give ourselves grace when we've disappointed someone. And let me just say, it's not “have I ever…” It's “How many times have I disappointed someone?” Far too many. But, God.
When I reach for a piece of God, and when I remember that I am enough to Him because of Jesus? When I can find my identity in that, this is when the peoople-pleasing loses some of its grip on me. Honestly, it's still an on-going struggle for me, my friend.
May we both continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, and learn that our identity is in Him. Love you.
Jeanne, thank you for such a sweet, honest comment. I'll know how to pray better for you. I guess it's like that roller coaster ride that's hard to get off of … sometimes you have highs and sometimes there are lows … sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it so wrong. I want to get it right 100% … 🙂 I want to be a God-pleaser more than a people-pleaser.
I spent most of my life as a people-pleasing approval addict. It's exhausting! We will always disappoint others. Not that it's easy, but it's so much SIMPLER to focus only on pleasing God. And, yes, we won't get that right either! But he is so gracious. Love the “piece of God”–need to remember that!
Becky, we are so blessed to have His graciousness. That makes you want to strive harder to get it right. 🙂
I've never considered myself a people pleaser, but I do have strong sense of being dependable and responsible (and it's more about reputation than letting people down–man, I sound selfish and prideful with that–you've got me thinking a lot here, Shelli).
I keep short accounts, so when I know I'm in the wrong, I have to make amends, or I have that tummy churning you wrote about. Once that's done, I have the Lord's peace. Even when it's just confession to Him–oh that peace. Nothing like it.
Yes, Melodie … short accounts. How could we not? That was a lesson I learned early in life. I just never realized that not every one keeps short accounts. 🙂 Lord, give me peace in the midst …