It was a race to finish line. I had been out of the country for a number of weeks and was on my last leg, mentally and physically exhausted. I had a connecting flight to catch for the 12 hour flight home…and my first flight was very late arriving. That caused my husband and me to do a full-on 20 minute sprint through a very large airport, baggage in hand, in order to maybe be able to catch our flight home.
Running through crowds, up and down escalators, completely winded, muscles burning, we made it onto the plane just before they closed the doors.
By this point I was frustrated, exhausted and annoyed at the airline.
As I found my seat, I told the sweet, 80 year old man sitting next to me that I had just sprinted for 20 minutes to make this flight.
And do you know what happened?
I was met with the most gentle and peaceful response from my seat partner. He was so calm and so filled with peace that it felt like I had walked into an invisible wall of peace.
The presence of peace felt tangible.
Have you ever experienced this? You walk into someone’s home, or start talking with someone and instantly it’s as if peace is surrounding you. It’s undeniably hanging in the atmosphere.
I have experienced it many times. And I’ve also experienced the opposite.
Have you ever been around someone who is so full of worry, fear or anxiety that it’s difficult for you to not start feeling worried, anxious or fearful? It’s as if their anxiety fills the atmosphere, closing in all around you so that you have to make a concerted effort to not become anxious, too, even when you have nothing to be anxious about!
We can be atmosphere-changers for the good or for the bad.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). So, when the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, just walking into a room changes the atmosphere because we are carrying Peace Himself within us.
Yet, if we allow unchecked negative emotions to rule us, we choke out the peace that is available to us. And as a result we can throw our anxiety onto others without even realizing it.
We have to be careful about the emotions we choose to wear and the attitude we choose to have.
I’m not talking about pretending you are full of peace when you’re not. Being fake doesn’t equal a peaceful atmosphere. And while feeling negative emotions isn’t always a bad thing, I don’t believe that God intends for us to remain in that negativity.
We have the choice to wear negativity like a garment. Or to wear peace.
So…How do you keep your peace when your mind wants to rebel into fear?
Isaiah 26:3 tells us that “You (God) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”
When you are beginning to feel those negative, nagging fears rise up, make a faith-filled decision to hand them over to Jesus and to trust Him. Peace will be restored. You may have to do that a hundred times, but fight for your peace if you need to.
Remember, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has told us:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
His Peace is peace that often passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
This week let’s be cognizant of which emotions we’re letting rule us. Keeping our peace is a choice. Let’s choose peace no matter the circumstance.