Unwrapped any gifts lately?

Can you remember when microwave ovens were first available for the home kitchen? I was a newlywed (only a couple years out) when my dear husband told me he wanted to get me a microwave. I stared at him. What for? I had no need for one, didn’t know how to use it and couldn’t imagine life would be any better with it. No thanks.

But he bought me one anyway, unboxed it and plugged it in. And there it sat, a constant reminder of something freely given that I didn’t want. I think my first adventure into its use was to heat water for instant coffee (remember instant coffee?). You know the end of the story. Now, 40-plus years later I can’t imagine living without it. Even my camper has a microwave!

I am reminded of Jesus’ words in John 14:27, that He would be leaving, but in His absence would leave us His peace. A free gift. But what do we do with this peace? As with any gift, its worth is all in its use.

I spent a few days this past week stressing over things that I didn’t need to stress over. I jokingly told myself I needed medicated. I needed alcohol. I needed to find a way to let go of this very self-inflicted stress. And there it was, waiting for me, my gift from Jesus.

Peace.

I unloaded on Him and asked for His help in implementing His gift of Peace into my life.

Peace. Such a simple word, and so hard to accept. I can read about it in the scriptures. I can pray about it. But in order to get any benefit from this gift, I need to use it.

So the gift is unwrapped. The gift of peace is sitting on my lap. Now I have to give up my fears and troubles and replace them with peace. Just as I had to trust that the microwave would actually heat water, I have to trust that giving my fears and troubles to Jesus will free me to enjoy the gift of peace He left for me. That means I have to quit “leaning on my own understanding.”

I am still trying. I am still wrapping and unwrapping the gift of Peace. Someday I will figure it all out.

Until then, practice makes perfect. How are you doing? Are you loaded with burdens that are robbing you of peace? Jesus gave the gift to all of us!

Have a blessed, and peaceful, week - Regina

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