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Choosing Peace and Freedom from Worry
From:
Charles Page MD -- Texas-based Surgeon, Author, Storyteller Charles Page MD -- Texas-based Surgeon, Author, Storyteller
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Nacogdoches , TX
Saturday, July 25, 2020

 

Things are never as bad as they seem: The courage to choose peace

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Here’s a story about peace and verses which give peace, strength and healing

When I entered the room, I didn’t have to ask Maria how she was doing. Her body language told the story.  She fidgeted with her cell phone, tapped the bottom of the bed with her foot and nervously pushed the buttons on the hospital’s TV control. I wanted to stamp her diagnosis on her forehead: Stressed out.

Maria grimaced. A sour expression came upon her face. “The gynecologist says I have an ovarian mass. They think it’s cancer.” Her husband’s cell phone interrupted our conversation. She placed her hand on her stomach, winced in pain and grabbed the phone from his hand. “Give me that.”

bible verses for stress
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Maria spoke into the phone. “I have cancer.” Her lip quivered and then her voice cracked. “They are doing exploratory surgery in the morning.”

Maria’s phone interruption gave her husband Rick a chance to talk. “Sorry doctor. My wife’s normally sweeter than peach tea. She’s got a lot on her mind.”

Maria finished her call and gave the cell phone back to her husband. “Rick, your sister has the kids.”

Puzzled, because they were in their late sixties, I asked, “Who’s kids?”

Maria bit one her fingernails. “We are raising our grandkids till our daughter is released from prison. This is the worst time to get sick. They have basketball and soccer after school.” A tear trickled down Maria’s cheek. “I never thought I’d be raising kids again.”

I struggled to steer Maria into telling me about her medical history. She talked about everything but her physical ailments. Family problems. Financial burdens. Finally, after getting the information I needed, I sat down at the foot of the bed. “Maria, most of the things we worry about never happen. And if they do, they are never as bad as we imagine. Don’t you remember what happened seven years ago?”

Maria nodded her head. “Of course I do. You removed my colon cancer. But the chemo was the hardest part. I lost my hair.”

I nodded. “You lost your hair—for a little while, but you didn’t lose your life. You suffered only for a season.” I looked at Maria. My pep talk was working. “Did things turn out as bad as you thought they would?”

Maria exhaled. “You’re right. I was a basket case when you told me I had colon cancer. But God saw me through. And you were right, things did not turn out like I imagined. I beat cancer the first time, and I can beat it again.”

Then Rick chimed in. “Maria, what if you don’t have cancer? If it is ovarian cancer, maybe they can remove it all in surgery.”

Rick grabbed Maria’s hand. “Let’s don’t worry about the grandkids. If you get sick, God will provide someone to take of them. God always, somehow, works out everything for us.”

The Christian Secret of Peace

I sat and listened to Rick and Maria express one positive comment after another. Maria and Rick began to count their blessings. Their fear evolved into confidence. Their doubt changed into faith. Their worry transformed into peace. Thankfulness replaced self-pity.

I walked out of their hospital room, marveled at their change in focus and thought to myself. I’ll have to use that line more often, “Most of the things we worry about never happen. And if they do, they are never as bad as we anticipated.” Maria’s irritability, pain and discouragement had been replaced with peace, joy and thankfulness. I suggested a change of focus. They did the rest. One little statement changed her whole attitude. One spoonful of encouragement completely changed Mona’s whole outlook.

Don’t Let Skin get in the Way of a Diagnosis

The following morning, we took Maria to surgery. We hoped for the best, but prepared for the worst. Would we find a large malignant ovary, an abdomen filled with metastatic cancer? Upon entering her belly, we were surprised. We removed a large ovary, filled with blood, twisted on itself. A benign ovarian torsion. No malignancy. Maria received a quick, straightforward surgery. We closed her abdomen, laughed and reminded ourselves, “Sometimes it’s good to wrong.”

Choosing Peace means–You Must Draw It Out

Typically, we think living peacefully occurs in the absence of adversity. Peace equals no problems and no pain. But the tranquility Jesus gives transcends our situations.   This gift isn’t grounded on conditions or based upon the lack of problems. “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.” (John 14:27, NIV).

Stress is a choice. Peace is a gift. Don’t Pray for Peace

You don’t need to pray for peace. You already have it. Christians often ask for things which their heavenly Father has already given in abundant supply. If you have received Christ, the Holy Spirit abides within.  Although you may be unaware, you have a peace which surpasses understanding. God has already given you an ocean of peace to drink from in your time of need, deposited when you received the Spirit. Draw on it. Instead of asking for something you already have, ask God to help you appropriate the peace you have already received through the finished work of Christ.

Our Difficulties are Never as Bad as We Think

When going through trouble our mind multiplies our problems and minimizes our blessings. We create problems and situations which may never even happen. We imagine the worst the possible scenario. We let our hearts trouble us with doubt, fear and discouragement. We allow worry to creep in and steal the peace Jesus has deposited. When worry invades your thinking, remind yourself, things are never as bad as they appear. God is in control. He has plan for your good and for His glory. God will either deliver you from your circumstance or give you the courage to endure whatever comes your way. Either way God has your back. He guarantees it. So why worry?

Don’t Borrow Trouble

No thief is greater than the one called borrowed trouble. He fills our mind with things which may happen. He encourages us to meditate on our potential problems. Preoccupied with the what-if’s, our ability to carry out the tasks at hand weakens.  All the while, he swindles our joy, faith and contentment. Once we are distracted, He robs our tranquility, stealing today’s peace, replacing it with worry, dread and fear. Borrowed trouble swindles the Christian out of their greatest asset: the ability to hear God’s voice, fellowship with Him and face the issues which need our attention.

Don’t borrow trouble. Don’t allow it to enter your mind. Today has enough trouble to address. Jesus promised if we will focus on today’s real challenges, tomorrow’s potential problems will take care of themselves. Instead of thinking about what may happen tomorrow, focus on the things you need to do today.

Meditation Drives Worry Away

A mind filled with peace, displaces worry. When worry fills your mind, meditate. Focus on good, pure and excellent things. Saturate your mind with God’s blessings. Be thankful in your circumstances. When you do, those distracting thoughts will flee from your mind. You are strengthened to do the real tasks which need to be done, today.

Spiritual Amnesia

We forget what we should remember and we remember what we should forget. We forget God’s promises and remember our problems. Reverse your focus. When going through challenging circumstances, remember God’s faithfulness—the ways He has showed up in your past. The fractured relationships, He has restored. The answered prayers, God has answered. The unexpected blessings which appeared out of nowhere. Think of the people who were there to encourage you in your past trials. When we reflect on God’s character, faithfulness and intervention in our past, our problems are soon forgotten.

When worry knocks on your door and threatens your peace, close the door. Don’t let it into your mind. Don’t surrender the blessing of calm contentment you have received. Draw deeply from God’s tranquil ocean of peace. Meditate on God’s unchanging promises. Don’t let anyone take away the joy you have been given. Be thankful. And most of all: choose peace.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4, NIV).

We don’t need to fret the storm beating down on our boat, when we know the One who holds the sea in His hand. http://www.drpageauthor.com/boot/s8ND2m

For the full surviving sickness and suffering video series/journal, click here:

http://www.drpageauthor.com/boot/s8ND2m

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