Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Choosing Peace Over Fear

The past few nights I have been unable to get to sleep easily.  I was up late the night that the tsunami hit Japan, and watched it unfold live on national television.  I remember that I was gasping as I watched it happen, with my hand over my mouth.  In the past, we see national disasters on television after the fact, and that somehow seems to lessen the impact a tiny bit; yet watching it happen live, while people are being swept away, leaves an indelible mark on you.

I live in a city with a large population of Japanese residents, many of who have been personally affected.  We cannot get away from the news right now, even if we tried.  Online, on the radio, the television, the newspapers - it seems that each day the news gets worse, and we are being told to prepare for disaster.  Today on the news they actually used the word "apocalypse" as if that might be what we're facing.

My faith is what keeps me strong, what gives me hope.  I am challenged to remember this when surrounded by people who are scared and searching for answers.  Do I speak with fear in my voice, or with confidence and faith?

Last night as I lay in bed, I was imagining what would happen if an earthquake hit my house.  Where would we hide?  Where are our flashlights?  Would we be okay?  For a few minutes my mind started to spiral out of control, until I was reminded that I had a choice.  I have a choice to dwell on these fears or to choose peace.

Yes, we need to be prepared.  We need to have emergency supplies and have a plan ready.  Just today I went and stocked up on some water bottles and canned food.  At the same time though, we cannot let our fears dictate how we act or live.  We may have to choose to turn off the television and limit how much information overload we are subjecting ourselves to.  It is in times like these that we need peace more than we need information.  Peace is a choice; it is also a fruit of the Spirit.  God is wanting to develop peace in our lives if we let Him. That means trusting Him with the future, no matter how dim it may look.  Take some time to let His peace overcome you today.

Romans 8:5-13 
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


  1. Excellent post Jaimie. I struggle with the same things. You're right. Seeing tragedy leaves an indelible mark. But choosing peace is so much more life-giving. I needed this reminder. Love you friend!

  2. Hi Jaimie..what a timely post for me. I was reminded of the verse, "He will keep him in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast on You." I am not sure if that is written correctly or where it is found...I know it was a memory verse for me. I have been on information overload lately...freakin' myself out. Thank you for your post!!!

  3. what a great site! I was directed here because of your curtain tutorail but also appreciated your encouraging words.