I caught Joyce Meyer this morning. I have an afternoon gig at a school, but woke up a little later than usual (6 a.m.) and thought: Hmmm. Need to listen to Joyce this morning. She talked about peace. My life has been filled with much more peace since my last health scare. A little over a year ago, a chest xray showed a spot on my lung. 25 years ago, my lungs were filled with calcification from living with a smoker and a bout of bronchitis every year that I was at my folk's home. I nearly passed out when the doctor showed me my chest xray. 25 year old woman with lungs that looked like that. Add to it that my mom died of lung cancer 10 years after she quit smoking and you have the makings of a pot full 'o fear. As I was working on a mural a year ago, waiting for my appointment for a CT scan (they always make you wait at least a week, right?) my anxiety level was through the roof.
Slapping paint on a 2000 sq ft. mural, I could feel the fear rising. I was trying to concentrate on my work and ignore the fear. Finally, I got desperate and put my brush down. I got on my knees that day...nice, too, that it was a church I was working in....and pleaded with Father. I asked him to PLEASE, whatever was going to happen, I didn't care...but to PLEASE just give me peace about it! No more anxiety! If I was to live, please let me live on a day to day basis, not fearing the future. If I was to die, please let me live on a day to day basis, not fearing the future. I suddenly realized that I was praying for the same thing, either way, and the outcome made no difference; it was the peace of each day that mattered. A friend in the church, a man who ministers to prison inmates and battles his own demons staying sober and fighting Hep C came by later and told me my CT scan would be clean.
Something happened that day. The colors of everything became brighter. I noticed miniscule stuff. Tiny details. "Look at the shape of those leaves! Isn't that amazing? And they are so GREEN in January! Can you believe that?! See the little orange dots on there. Amazing!!" My family probably thought I was nuts.
I was a tad nervous on my CT day, but not crazily. I prayed in the spirit the night before and felt a healing occur. My CT scan was clean; nothing was remarkable. No calcifications mentioned.
So, when listening to Joyce talk about peace, I was reminded of that and even further back. My mom had become disgruntled with our church when the pastor had an affair with a member, and we stopped going. For some reason, though, she signed me up for vacation Bible school when I was still in elementary school. Yep, it was offered through the school, can you believe that? I had no idea what it was all about, but I remember packing a little sack lunch and going off to this place every day for a week. It was magical. We talked about stuff we never talked about in school--or at home. The teacher told us about God, and Jesus, and I was....intrigued and amazed. We walked out of the school one day and sat on the hill outside the school and ate our lunches as she talked more about God. It was summer in Iowa, but it was a breezy day. I still remember that one day, on the hill, being fed inside and out and hearing the Word of God. The cool breezes were tempering the hot sun and....life stood still. Just that place, that day, that moment...I existed, aware of He and I, together. The Now of being....The Stillness of knowing He is God. The peace.
I remember that day more than any other day of my childhood and it never really occured to me that it was the beginning of who I became in the Lord, that He has made a few standout days in particular for me to know that He is there. To remember those days reminds me to remember the importance of ONE day. EACH day. To sit on a heavenly hill and just BE, in His stillness. To rest in His arms, like a child.
To have peace.