What is stealing your peace?


Dear Friends:
Many times when I write these short narratives but then erase the entire message and start over again. I sometimes feel that what I wrote would offend someone or that letter is simply mindless babble. (If there is anything that really rattles me it’s senseless, pointless babbling——i would rather say it and then shut up than keep droning on). I have started and erased these musings two so far tonight. I feel the need to share, but each time something seems to cause me to reconsider and start over again.
The truth is I never really know what I am going to write about until I just start typing, then the theme seems to come into my mind. Today, I was considering that for the second day I have been anxious over “something” or perhaps many things, and could not stop feeling a fight going on in my stomach. I had this nauseating feeling that I was getting ready for a final exam and had not prepared it, or was going on trial and the jury was hostile towards me! For whatever reason(s) this has been going on for two days now. 
But as I was driving to dinner I turned off the radio and began to pray and asked God to show me what was wrong-why was I so anxious? It was then that my eyes were opened to all the unfinished things that were plaguing my mind-the unfinished “to do” list in the office, the camper enrollment goals, the capital drive calls, the work on the new brochure, that meeting with the bank on Friday, my trip to Bolivia in two weeks, the meetings with attorneys and insurance adjuster about the fire and some unpaid claims, etc, etc.  
There is no way I can complete all the tasks that I have each day. I simply “work at” the tasks, and that leaves me somewhat unfulfilled each day. It’s perhaps the reason I used to enjoy mowing the grass or painting a room or even cooking a meal-you can begin and complete the task in set time! For me, at least, starting and finishing something makes me feel good. And so I began to rattle off to God the things that were stealing my peace, and one by one, as I orally acknowledged the areas of anxiety, His peace returned to me. I was not only admitting that I was not up to the tasks assigned to me, but also admitted to Him  that HE WAS able to handle all my challenges. Again and again, abandonment of the results to God (after I have done my part as His servant) allows peace and joy to return to me.  But if I try to control situations, people or events, no one is happy, particularly me.
I stumble and slip, but God knows that I am trying to do the right thing and prepare this little camp for an incredible summer. Please pray for all of us here and for my strength and ability to do what I can and to trust God with the rest.
Warmly,
Dean Barley

1 comment


  • Karen and Ed Wooten

    Thank you for the reminder to relinquish the “stuff” and to reclaim His Glorious Peace.


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