Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
I used to believe that peace came in the form of a bubble bath, a good book, and a quiet house. I used to believe that peace was something I created. A peaceful retreat. A peaceful outlook. A peaceful mind. All of my own doing. I'd work hard to get into the mindset of peace. I'd buy the right smelling aromatherapy bath salts and the fluffiest bath robe.
And then, through a series of events in my life, I began to realize that peace is not bought or created by my own doing (I know, I am slow :).
I began to see that peace did not come from my working or planning or creating. It didn't come when my house was finally picked up and the floors were clean. God began to reveal to me that peace is a graciously undeserved gift from him that is always available to me.
Only by God. Only from God. Anything else is counterfeit peace. It doesn't last. It isn't real.
Real peace is powerful. It stops storms with one word. It hold tight when the world spins away. It is the deep breath when the chest wants to contract. And, it is ours because of God's grace. How beautiful is that?
As I began to teach Lauren about this third fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22 I knew I wanted her to know that true peace comes from God. Not to be bought or awarded, but simply to be received.
I wanted her to know that one result or fruit of our relationship with Jesus is an overwhelming sense of peace in the midst of life's most beautiful seasons or harshest storms.
Since she is still young and peace is such an abstract term for a toddler, I thought it would be a good idea to show her a story in the Bible where Jesus speaks the actual word, "Peace" over a storm in his disciples' lives. Oh how I love this story. And, oh how I wonder what my reaction would have been to the very storm Jesus was sleeping through! I'm sure like the disciples I would have been a frantic mess.
After reading through it in several versions, we acted it out. This was super fun and even little Easton was able to join us for this part. All we used was the lid to Lauren's toy box for the boat. If you don't have a giant pink toybox, haha, a cardboard box would be perfect or a coffee table turned over!!! I have a blue sheet so we laid that down to be the water, but honestly it wasn't needed. (Side note....we have hardwood floors so the sheet was a little dangerous...I was right there with the kids at all times and we put the sheet away as soon as we were finished playing but I wouldn't recommend using one on hardwood.)
We all took turns being Jesus asleep on the boat. Here is Easton's version. Haha!!!! We talked about how Jesus spoke the word peace over the wind and waves and they obeyed. I tried to share with Lauren that our peace comes when God is in control of our lives. I'm not entirely sure she got it because the whole boat in the middle of the living room floor was pretty fun at the time. :)
I wanted Lauren to have something concrete to remember that Jesus gives us peace. That his death for our sins gives us the greatest peace of all! That no matter if people hurt our feelings, or we get physically hurt, or we just have a bad day, Jesus gives us a peace we can surely rest in!
So......we created our very own Peace candle to light each day! I originally found the idea for how to make the candle here.
You will need a white pillar candle, wax paper, white tissue paper, markers, scissors, and a blow dryer!
I cut the tissue paper down to the size of the candle before we started so that all of our marker designs would make it to the final candle!
We just used regular Crayola markers to draw our designs. You do have to have a very light touch as the markers will tear the tissue paper with too much pressure.
When you are pleased with your design, cut a piece of wax paper that fits around your candle. Wrap the wax paper around the tissue paper and candle and then start blow drying! You have to have quite a bit of heat to melt the tissue paper into the candle, but it doesn't take too long. :)
Of course you can enlist the help of your little ones if you are right there watching them!
The end product is a super cool and uniquely yours candle! Somehow the tissue paper melts right into the candle and the designs show up really well. We will definitely be doing this activity again!!!
I love lighting it each day and the remembrance it is for us that Jesus is our peace and with Jesus in our hearts we can show others the sweetness of a peaceful heart!
Here is Jesus sleeping on the boat. And here is where he wakes up and stops the storm!
We used our Seeds song from Seeds of Praise, The Rock Eternal (Isaiah 26: 3-4) to remember that the Lord keeps us in his perfect peace! This song was on constant rotation in our house for a few days and even in our car! It's a great one! I highly recommend it!!!
I absolutely loved this lesson. Probably because it was such a great reminder for myself to rely on God for my peace and not worldy things. But, also because I really saw Lauren begin to understand the depth of the Father's love for her.
And if you are wondering, peace is not easy for me. I'm much more likely to jump into panic mode like the disciples did at every little storm that comes my way. But with little eyes watching my every reaction to events in my life, I am finding more and more that I need to rely on the one who gives me peace. And I am ever thankful for his grace and do-overs. I pray as you (and I!) remember this beautiful gift given to us because of Jesus' death and resurrection that we will feel the unmistakable peace from God. It is incorruptible. It is real. It is ours as children of God. Let us claim it and live in it today.
Posted by Jen at 7:03 AM