I had an unsettling dream a few nights ago. I have faux Olive branches on my entryway table and in my dream, the leaves of my Olive branches were slowly turning to embers and soon the entire branch was surrounded by a slow flame that eventually burned all branches. I am not a dream interpreter and with my wild imagination, I understand that I can have some wild dreams, but this one I could not get out of my mind.
The day before I had this dream, I saved a bible verse with a pretty picture of olive branches on it that had in bold writing, “THE PEACE OF GOD.” I was drawn to the picture, and I saved it and looked at it throughout the day. With waves of emotions these past few weeks, I felt that my peace was being robbed. The Olive branch which represents peace was burnt and I felt that my God dreams, and peace was slowly burning out too.
I’ve been seeing horrible pictures on the news of people suffering, wars happening across the world. Inflation is bringing unrest and fear to many families. I’m still grieving miscarriage and missed opportunities. I let down a friend and for goodness sakes, I’ve done a pretty good job of opening the door for the robber to steal my peace and to steal my joy. There is an unrest going on around us, and peace is under attack.
As I kept reading the scripture in Philippians aloud, the word guard struck a chord in my heart.
“The peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
God offers us a lifeline in the chaos of this world, and that is His never-ending peace that will come even when it doesn’t make sense to be there. This is the peace that will guard us from letting ourselves be discouraged and uneasy. This peace is like a soldier guarding the gate of our minds and our hearts. It will comfort us and protect us. It will give us strength when we are weak and understanding that Jesus is enough and stands at the center of our affection. Peace does not create naiveness to problems and discouragement, peace guards us from letting those things penetrate into our hearts and minds. It comforts us so we can pray in boldness, stand firm in our faith, and help others in their time of need.
Today, I have decided to pour water on my burning olive branch, and not settle for anything less. To fully embrace the gift of peace that comes only from God. This is a good time to think about what we are thinking about. Peace comes as we set our hearts on the eternal things, meditate on His word. To grasp hold of it and trust it. This will be a treasure for us in any season of our lives.
My husband Dan and my oldest son George went to visit his brother yesterday. With the two boys gone, my other son Oliver and I get to have some special time together. Last night, as I was reading him stories, he was reminded that we named Him Oliver because it means peace and kindness and that is exactly who God created him to be, peaceful and kind. How funny? God knew I would need a son that means peace just to be reminded that peace is here, it is not going to burn out, it is not going to be stollen. It is with me, and it is with you. We laid in my big fluffy bed, held hands, and prayed. Oliver kissed my head and said, “I love you SO much mom, I can’t wait for our date tomorrow.” I cannot settle for anything less than what God has to offer, and if He offers us His peace, let us embrace it with everything that we are and let it be our guard in these days to come.