I quote the scripture, “Be still and know that I am God” to myself quite often, but it doesn’t help. I run in and run out and run up and run down. Half my life is spent in the car, and the other half is spent on the computer.
I think quiet living is a blessing, and I think most of us need to work on simplifying. We tend to let the noise and the hustle and bustle of life crowd out God. We don’t stop and listen and learn about Him through every day life and through the beauty of nature. That’s definitely something I need to work on.
Fortunately for me, when the Bible mentions peace as a fruit of the spirit, I don’t think it is talking about quiet living. While I think we are to have time to be quiet and be still and listen for God, I don’t think that’s the fruit that we develop through Christian living. You’ll notice I said, “I don’t think,” because I am certainly no expert. However, I’m pretty sure the peace that we begin to grow through living a Christian life is the peace referred to in Philippians 4:7. It says, “Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (I love the New Living Translation because it’s easy for me to understand.)
I must say, I may be no expert, and I am certainly not perfect at this, but this fruit of the spirit is one that I have at least begun to develop. During the many rough times that my family has had in the last several years, I have felt peace. That was a direct blessing from God to help me through tough times. I had numerous people make comments like, “You seem awfully calm about this. How are handling this so well?” The answer that I gave to everyone who asked was in two parts. First, I always said, “It is what it is,” and second, I said, “God will provide. He always does.”
The peace of “It is what it is,” is a beautiful thing. (That was a very complicated sentence.) In times of trial or anger or strife, I say this phrase to myself and to those around me quite often. In fact, I’m pretty sure my family is sick of hearing me say it, but it is fitting for many situations. What I mean by the phrase is that I am not in control. No matter what “It” is, I can’t control “It” so there is no reason for me to get upset about “It.” God is in control. He’ll handle “It” so I don’t have to worry about "It."
A few years ago, the Goose came home from Spanish class one day all excited, and she said, “Mama, I learned something today!” I asked her what, and what I heard her say was, “S. O. C. K. S.” I just looked at her and said, “Great. You can spell socks.” She said, “No! S. O. C. K. S!” Again, I just looked at her. Then, she said, “It is what it is! Eso si que es! It is what it is!” Then, I got it. She learned how to say my favorite phrase in Spanish. From that, my family has developed a different saying. On bad days, we can say, “It’s just socks,” meaning, “Eso si que es.” I hope you will develop “socks.” Just remember, it is what it is. Luke 12:25 says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Stop worrying. God’s got it under control. It’s all just socks.
The second phrase I use quiet often is, “God will provide. He always does.”
Matthew 6: 28-33 says, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” God will provide for your needs, so you can be at peace about them.
A few verses that I quote to myself when I am worrying are:
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” I will not be a slave to my fear, but I will be powerful and self disciplined through Christ. This verse has empowered me in times of extreme fear. I remembered who made me, and I knew I'd be okay.
The other verse I quote to myself is the ending to the scripture I listed from Matthew 6. It is Matthew 6:33, and it says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Isn’t that the truth? There is plenty to do today, so stop wasting your time wondering, “What if?” Instead, trust God and know that He is in control, and you will be filled with the peace “which exceeds anything we can understand.” God bless you as you strive for peace. Don’t forget your socks. -Al