“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
An email was sent to our office a few days ago referring to the legislator with whom I work as an IDIOT. In the world of instant messaging and emailing the protocols have changed. No longer able to get nuances across with the choice of vocabulary, writers are sometimes led to use all capital letters to signify that they are yelling. I was made aware that the practice of using all caps was uncouth when one of my daughters told me to quit yelling in a text.
I’M NOT YELLING.
“Yes, Mom, you are.”
NO I’M NOT!
“Why are you typing in all caps then?”
. . . Because the caps lock was on.
Then, yesterday I received an email from a friend who was typing in all caps, venting over her frustration of a tough day, and she ended the email with YES. I AM YELLING.
I had to smile. When I was her age there is no way my frustration would have been vented by typing in all caps. There was a time when my frustration could only be appeased by making someone else as frustrated as I was. And, if I do say so myself, I was pretty good at sharing the pain.
But, one of the joys of growing in the Lord has been learning to accept the peace the Lord has given me. With a mentor who frequently admonishes, “Don’t let it steal your peace,” the lesson was not instantaneous. And, I often need reminders. But, like all other lessons, once it is learned and practiced it becomes more of a habit. When I feel my temper rising like the mercury in a thermometer, I repeat the mantra to myself. “It won’t steal my peace. It won’t steal my peace. IT WON’T STEAL MY PEACE!”
Generally, by the time I get to that point, I’m laughing at myself and well on my way to getting over whatever it was that got me riled in the first place - until the next time.
Jesus warned us that we would have tribulation in the world. It shouldn’t take us by surprise. For example, we will be working on the budget this week. But, be of good cheer, He has overcome the world. Don’t let the circumstances steal your peace.
Lord, thank You for the peace that passes all understanding. I pray for an extra portion of Your mercy and grace this week as we juggle responsibilities and prepare to debate the state budget. Amen