• DEVOTION 03/27/2020

    Then God's shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua.

    Phil 4:7 (CJB)

    You cannot stop fear. You can't pray it away, quote it away, sing it gone. You can't close your eyes and hope that it doesn't see you.

    Fear sees you, it knows you, and it's here to stay. It's part of your biology. You've been hardwired to experience it.

    And news flash, it's perfectly normal and human and good and part of being alive. Fear has valuable lessons to teach you and vital information to give you. This is good news. Fear has kept us alive and has prevented us from making grave decisions since time began. We're not supposed to stop fear. That would be dangerous.

    We are to control it. Work with it, not be overcome by it. And that is something we can learn to do and practice doing. What a time to practice it! And that's exactly what it is: something you practice, which means you lean into it and you learn. It's not that one day you'll be able to eradicate fear from your life for good, it's that through trial and error and learning, you work at making fear work for you.

    Here is where you find peace.

    In the Ancient Hebrew tradition, peace is not the absence of struggle, anxiety, or fear. It's a verb about how we hold tension; about how we work with where we are and what we've got. That's why Paul could say:

    "Then God's shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua."*

    It's not so much that God's peace is beyond our ability to grasp it, but that it can pass through all things; even here, even in this, even in times and people and seasons you would think it impossible to find peace, it is there. Things like pandemics and recessions and uncertainty around work and health and panic buying and resources and extreme weather and how we will all land on the other side of this.

    It can even pass through fear.

    Peace and fear can live with each other - they can bare the tension. That's how it works. You can be afraid, and feel peace, too. You can be falling ill while the earth has a chance to heal. You can worry about money while you reconnect with your loved ones, and with yourself, too. The tension is to be held, not to break.

    Eckhart Tolle said:

    "You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realising who you are at the deepest level."

    And it seems as though all of this chaos and mess and sickness and uncertainty is giving us a grand and beautiful opportunity to realise who we are, collectively and individually, at our deepest levels.

    It's often the edge of life experiences of trouble and heartache and fear that we plummet to the depths of ourselves. And when you get there, I hope you realise that you are loved. You are love. And that the love that you both are and are held within, turns fear into awareness, awe, and reverence.

    And then instead of finding peace, we become it.

    Mindful prompt: Take a moment to notice any fear you have. Now take a moment to look for and notice any peace you have. Try to recognise how they CAN exist together. Allow yourself to become aware of how you can choose to focus on peace even when fear exists. Be conscious of you ability to have the ability to control that. If you wish, you can make this a regular practice to introduce peace to your fear on a daily basis.

    Written by Liz Milani - pocketfuel.com