By: Gabriela Yareliz
I think we have all found ourselves in certain types of prison in 2020, and by this I mean a place that confines us, where we feel up against a wall. Maybe our wings feel clipped. Maybe we feel afraid.
I have been reflecting on all the pain people around me are experiencing. A dear family friend passed away, today. It has been a season of so much prayer and weeping, to be honest.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I have felt a little lost this year and not 100% myself.
I was reading Ryan Holiday’s book, The Daily Stoic, today, and a part of the reading said: “No matter what’s happening to your body, no matter what the outside world inflicts on you, your mind can remain philosophical. It’s untouchable— and in a way, so are you.”
My body has been reacting to stress in some weird ways. I am slowly pulling out of a season of digestive issues and some sleepless nights due to stress. It’s weird when one is praying and literally pleading and begging God for peace in the middle of those moments. What drew my attention to the quote I shared is how it says, “No matter what is happening to your body.” Our bodies are so in tune with our minds. And for those battling serious illness, it can almost feel like the body has betrayed you. But then, there is the inner citadel— the fortress within— the mind.
I still feel some stress symptoms on certain occasions. And when I start to feel them, it’s a reminder to take a step back and refocus. I don’t care about my mind remaining “philosophical.” What I want is peace. And I know the latter part of that quote is true— our mind is untouchable.
God promised us peace in the middle of the storm:
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus instructed us and revealed things to us so that we would have peace. He tells us to take heart because He has overcome the world.
Peace is part of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23
And these are just verses I found by googling God’s promises for peace. What robs us of peace is usually rooted in fear, whether it’s frustration, events out of our control or interactions with others— it may not be fear of that person or the thing itself, but fear of being stuck or trapped or alone or mistaken or fear of loss — I mean the list can go on. But scripture tells us that perfect love drives out fear, and God is love. 1 John 4:18
I keep telling myself that when I feel lack of peace it’s because I need to spend more time in His presence.
The truth is, we all need the reminder that our mind is ours. It’s untouchable. No one else decides who we are or how we feel or how we react to a situation. May we take the time to seek His presence that is love, and be engulfed by His peace.
A quick summary of Philippians 4: “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. … And the God of peace will be with you.”
May His peace guard our hearts. That is what I am begging for each and every day. What a relief it is to be washed over by a wave of that peace. I have experienced it, and I am hungrier for it now, more than ever. May you feel the God of peace near you, as He truly is.
Your mind is yours. His peace can be yours. And if we make our minds untouchable to the frivolity of this world, we will be untouchable, too. Go in peace, and be untouchable as you rest in His hands.