God’s Peace

In April, a couple of years ago, Jean and I and another pastor were visiting and ministering inBlantyre, Malawi.  This was our second southern African country on this trip and we had one more to go.

We were visiting three countries we’d never been in before and we had to go in and out of Johannesburg, South Africa each time to travel between the other countries.  Every time you cross an African border there are so many things that can go wrong.  And besides, the national airline of Malawi, which used to have seven planes, was down to one aging Boeing 737 that was so old it had ashtrays on the seat arms.  And it was rumored they were about to go out of business, possibly that very day, and we still needed to get out of Malawi, through South Africa, into Botswana!

I was so stressed!  I had been saying to God that if he didn’t find a way to help me deal with the stress of Africa travel, I didn’t think I could keep doing it.

We stopped at our friend Stuart Palmer’s office at the hospital where we had held the Training Course and the pastors’ meeting, to pray, to say goodbye, and to borrow his Land Cruiser and driver to get to the airport.

We talked and then Stuart prayed for us.  He prayed for safe travel and several other things and then he prayed for peace.  As he prayed, something engaged in my spirit and soul and I said, “Father, I receive the gift of your peace.”  I consciously took all my “what-if’s” and gave them to my Father.  I felt peace.

The day was long, the details of our travels were complicated.  Our flights were late.  But every time the stress started to rise, I consciously said, “Father, I give you all these things I can’t control.  Deal with them as you choose.  I receive your peace.”  And it worked!  And it has had a long-term effect.  It still requires conscious attention, decision, and release.  But it still works!

I choose to let God control my today and my tomorrow!

About Jim Stephens

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I’ve been a pastor, church-planter, missionary, mechanic, and business owner. My life is a journey of faith and discovery and I love the season of life I find myself in.

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2 Responses to God’s Peace

  1. Stuart Palmer says:

    Wow! Just came across this web post today Jim, a year or two later. I must keep praying for peace for people. God is good. Living just in the moment as his adopted children is the biggest challenge. Not letting fears about tomorrow or later on rob the moment of the joy our Father infused it with.

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