Sunday, February 13, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - How I find peace in a crazy world

This past week, I was clicking on headlines and reading about the various places in the world that are called "hot spots" for war to break out.  It is probably considered odd that I can read these articles without flinching but put me in front of a cable news station for five minutes and peace flies right out the window.

There is a reason for this, of course, and that is because God gives us the ability to do what He calls us to do.  Which is why one person can spend hours watching news to be able to debate on a national scale and I can read about wars and rumors of wars to know what preparations we should be making.

He gives grace at the time and for the purpose of our calling.  Remember what Corrie Ten Boom's father told her when she was fearful?  He said we do not purchase a ticket for the train until it is time to get on the train.  He assured her God would give her the grace if she needed it and anyone who has read The Hiding Place (or seen the film) knows what she went through because her family hid Jews from the Nazis.

I was watching a Christian pastor and author being interviewed recently who talked about the realization these past two years that there is no turning back.  The world is forever changed and it is the Christians who realize this and find their place in this world that will not only endure but fulfill the journey to which God has called them.

I find peace knowing that God truly is in control even though it seems the world is falling apart.  Actually, it is falling apart.  Everything that can be shaken is being shaken.  Sometimes it seems nothing works like it once did.  

Recently when we had a washing machine delivered, the hose that came with it didn't work with our pipes in the garage and the delivery men just dropped everything and left. They said that was not their responsibility because they are third-party and only get paid to deliver appliances.

Lowe's said it wasn't their responsibility either but the manufacturer's and they charged us for a longer hose, which didn't work!  My husband ended up going to Menards and they had the length of hose needed.  Fortunately, he could install it himself.  We had paid for installation only because that way we also got free delivery.

I have heard such a stories over and over online. Getting good customer service and having retail establishments back their products is becoming harder to find.  Where I live, the U. S. Postal Service is not delivering mail each day.  It has become a problem, especially in rural areas like where I live.

This started long before the recent snowstorm made it worse.  I can't tell you how many times an Amazon package was left at my neighbor's house just because it was the closest to the road (their packages are often delivered third-party now). I will give UPS a nod here that they are still quite wonderful.

What does all of that have to do with living a peaceful life?  Simply put, there is little to resemble the world we knew not that long ago.  I am convinced the enemy of my soul knows there is nothing that will get me upset like poor customer service.  Which is actually true so I forced myself to calm down and that it would all work out in the end.

A friend and I were emailing recently about how people seem so much ruder these days.  I have to wonder if the pressure of the pandemic combined with quickly rising inflation has something to do with it.  They may not have the Holy Spirit reminding them to calm down and not give place to the devil (which is what we do when we act out our frustrations).

The older I get, the more I dislike change but there is no getting around it now.  If I depended on outward circumstances for my peace like so much of the world, I would be in trouble.  However, having gone through some long trials before has taught me how to find that peace when it is not obvious.

I have to remind myself that this is not Heaven and I'm still just passing through.  That is where getting older helps as I look back at the quick passage of time and while there is so much I can no longer do physically, spiritually and emotionally I have become stronger.  Using faith muscles in trials will cause us to end up stronger.

I've written a lot about being sensitive to how my home either brings peace or takes it away.  Right now the Study is cluttered (again) but only because I'm working on a project that brings with it clutter.  Once it is done, I think the twitch in my eye when I walk in this room will subside.

The rest of the house is fine because I overlook some of the future projects that will need to be done someday.  Isn't it true that such projects have a way of making themselves come to the top of the priority list and we can no longer ignore them.  I'm not talking about necessary maintenance.  It is more like kitchen cabinets showing their age (aren't we all?).

So, I am learning to find that balance between what I can do and what I need to ignore for awhile.  It means realizing that some projects are okay to ignore if by doing so you are not making the situation worse.  I could not ignore the washing machine that had begun to leak water.  I can ignore the kitchen cabinets for awhile.

Organizing things brings me peace.  That is the kind of project I'm working on in the Study right now.  It is one of those projects where you make a mess before you bring order again.  I have a mental picture of the finished project so I can keep plowing through the clutter, knowing what the completion of the project will look like.

Listening to music can bring peace.  As I write this week, I have one of the Tim Janis videos playing on YouTube on another tab.  I learned about his music from his Christmas specials that play on the NRB Network each year. His instrumental music is very relaxing.  However, sometimes I find vintage John Denver brings peace and at other times favorite Christian singers.

While I do enjoy an occasional Christmas Hallmark movie, what I really love to watch (don't hate me) is broody murder mysteries such as Wallander, Vera, and Shetland.  I do love many more British mysteries which are not so dark but these three have a way of drawing me into their world and helping me forget about my own as brilliant law enforcement types are solving the mysteries.

I guess it all started with Nancy Drew and has grown from there.  I was relieved to find out Alistair Begg, one of my favorite preachers and Bible teachers, likes murder mysteries, too.  I can understand why books by Agatha Christie were so popular in the war years in Great Britain.  When your world is falling apart, it is good to read or watch someone make sense of their world.

Sitting in an overstuffed chair with a good book and a hot beverage, it doesn't get any better than that.  Unless there is a kitty vying for space on my lap along with the book.  There was a time I found long books quite peaceful but these days because of my eye problems, I prefer smaller books on the Kindle... or beautiful cookbooks.

At the root of all peace, though, is to keep my eyes on Jesus and my thinking based on the Bible.  I feel sorry for people who attend churches that teach that the Bible is not true.  We have relatives that are part of such a denomination.  We are considered ignorant for believing the Bible and that is okay. 

God and His Word have to be our True North during this time or we will find ourselves constantly fretting and worrying.  I have watched Him pull off the miraculous big stuff and still care enough to help us find a lost kitty.  There is nothing in your life that you cannot bring to Him.  

I hope you have developed ways to find peace in this world that gets crazier every day.  I haven't even mentioned rooms with candles and plants and soft throws in winter.  Pitchers of iced tea or lemonade with fresh fruit on a hot summer day.  The aroma of bread baking in the kitchen or that first cup of coffee each morning.

The world is full of lovely things but they may not be evident at first.  Sometimes they are seen through the lens of a world that is different than we have ever known but when we look... there is still a lot of beauty there.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Tim Janis on YouTube, this is the music I am listening to at the moment... here.

Image Feathered Friends, artist Mary Smith


Vee said...

Lemon balm tea... Nothing beats spending time with The Lord. He loves us so and wants us to live victorious lives without fear. The only way we can do that is by absolutely trusting Him.

Poor customer service cranks me, too. A package is waiting just one town over for a week, Wonder when it will finally make it to my door.

Terri said...

Your words are really hitting truth with me. Thank you for your insight. I also find peace in many of the ways that you do and I have noticed as the world gets crazier....the calm at home is one of my "saving graces". Again, thank you.

Cynthia said...

You almost always state what I am thinking, except you can articulate your thoughts better. Thank you for your continually encouraging words.
I suspect we are close to the same age and have the same basic beliefs. As I have aged, I find myself withdrawing more from the turmoil of the world and seeing it in a different light. Don't get me wrong, I always attempt to keep up with the local/state/world news - and from a variety of sources - but since I have studied quite a bit of history, it seems it is just as Solomon said: there is nothing new under the sun.
As I tell my husband: same stuff, different century.
Blessings to you.

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I really needed to hear this. It's so easy to get caught up in all the things that are going wrong in the world. I'm so grateful for God's Word that is a sure foundation. I love the Tim Janis videos also. A friend introduced me to them. They make such a soothing background when I am reading, studying or working on the computer.

Alison said...

Hello! I found your blog by happy accident and am thoroughly enjoying reading it. I was taken aback at the remark about a church which teaches the Bible isn’t true. May I ask what text this church teaches from? I’m assuming it’s a Christian church. Comfort and direction seem to be lacking in so many areas of Life, but God’s word is constant if only we would take the time to hear it. This passage in Romans is a favourite - “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”