Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Peace

Peace in the Midst of Affliction

“I am leaving you with a gift –
peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give
is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

In trying times like these it is hard to conceive that we can ever attain “peace of mind and heart” with all the uncertainties we are experiencing. We so desperately want that “peace” so we are not “troubled or afraid.”

At first, when Dave and I were experiencing our first major affliction which involved the journey through cancer, amputation and debilitating depression, I did not attain the “peace of mind and heart” I so desperately desired. The turning point came about when I came across this writing in a book that was given to me entitled “Let Go” by Francois Fenelon who was a 17th century Archbishop in France:

“We can add to our God-given cross by agitated resistance and an unwillingness to suffer. A cross which comes from God ought to be welcomed without any concern for self. And when you accept your cross this way, even though it is painful, you will find that you can bear it in peace. But when you receive your cross unwillingly, you will find it to be doubly severe. The resistance within is harder to bear than the cross itself! But if you recognize the hand of God and make no opposition to His Will, you will have peace in the midst of affliction.” FRANCOIS FENELON

I learned that I was experiencing what I called “double pain”. I not only had the pain of our affliction but the pain of my resistance and resentment. Once I stopped resisting, let go, accepted our cross and started trusting Him I began to experience “the peace which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

“I have told you all this
so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth you will have
many trials and sorrows.
But take heart,
I have overcome the world.”

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky