"How to Find Peace Under Pressure"
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
Frantically pushing my grocery cart through the parking lot, I glanced back and forth, trying to remember where I had parked the car.
The sun was blazing hot and as a bead of sweat dripped down my back, I couldn’t help but think of my hungry kids, waiting at home to consume the food I’d just bought.
It was way past lunchtime and knowing my family and some visiting relatives were waiting at home created anxiety in my heart. But I figured I would make things right by serving up a delicious pizza, freshly baked in the deli department.
As I continued to hunt for my car, the swirling aroma of mozzarella cheese, sweet basil, grilled garlic and fresh tomatoes was calling my name. I was tempted to snatch a slice, but decided to wait until I got home.
Besides, I could almost hear the cheers of approval as I imagined the moment I would place this scrumptious meal before my clan. Sure, it wasn’t homemade, but at this point anything edible would have been welcomed with open arms.
However, my thoughts came to an abrupt halt when my cart bobbled and suddenly stopped.
I glanced down, and there it was. My deliciously fresh stone-baked pizza — on the ground with a tire mark across the top of the box. Sure enough, I had rolled over it with my grocery cart.
You’ve got to be kidding! Honestly, who does that?
In my haste, I hadn’t noticed that the cashier placed my pizza carton on the lower rack of my cart due to the overflowing groceries.
With no time to have another one made, I rushed home with a car full of groceries, a smashed pizza and a very heavy heart.
I tried to fake a calm smile when I got home, but the house erupted in laughter when everyone saw my fumbled fiasco. As my younger son tried to scrape off the gooey cheese from the broken pizza lid, everyone else opted for sandwiches.
In situations like this, I need to be reminded of today’s key verse: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"
The whole pizza mess could have easily been avoided if I weren’t in such a rush and worried about my peeps back home. Sure, it’s important to take care of family, but when meeting their needs creates anxiety and stress, it’s an indication that something is out of balance.
Oftentimes, it’s not what my family asks of me — it’s what I demand of myself: I want everything to be perfect. I want to meet all my family’s needs. I want to please everyone.
But that’s not possible, and God doesn’t require it of me. Instead, based on Isaiah 26:3, He promises to keep me in perfect peace, despite any situation, if I willingly commit to doing these two things:
1. Trust God, instead of trying to master things on my own.
2. Keep my thoughts fixed on God, instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks.
Are you feeling rushed or anxious today? Would you like a slice of peace to calm your nerves and settle down the stress you’re experiencing? Jesus wants to offer you a holy deposit of His perfect peace that will last a lifetime and not just satisfy you for a few hours.
Dear Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace. Help me to trust and focus on You every day, so I can be calm and stress-free in any situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Peter 1:2, "May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord." (NLT)
Philippians 4:7, "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." (NLT)