The Peace in the midst of.....
Summer can hold a mixture of emotions and experiences for us all but especially for those of us involved in ministry. There are opportunities for special events, Children’s holiday clubs, Holiday at home for the elderly, church outings or picnics, time for planning ahead for the last quarter of the year, all mixed up with a diminished congregation as people are away for summer breaks and the ability to get away ourselves for rest and recharging our batteries. Oh did I mention peace?
In Judges 6:12 the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and described him as a mighty warrior, not a title that Gideon would have applied to himself and indeed, one which appeared to make no sense to him at all and led him into an interesting discussion between him and God.
The amazing thing is that Gideon, often referred to as a mighty warrior was uncomfortable with the message and to put it plainly, he was scared at the prospect of what God was asking him to do (Judges 6:27). God’s answer to Gideon’s reticence was to give him peace (Judges 6:23-24).
Gideon carried out the will of God even though he was nervous, anxious and unsure, he did not wait for a better time, but encouraged by the peace of God went ahead. In Verse 23 God said to him Peace! Do not be afraid, then in verse 24 Gideon built an altar and called it ‘the Lord is peace’, the promise of peace became the proclamation of peace from deep in the heart of Gideon.
We often think of battles such as those experienced by Gideon, as relating to difficult spiritual experience or challenges within the church or members life experiences, but the change in church rhythms experienced during July and August can cause those in ministry to experience at least some level of discomfort with opportunities to reach out, look forward and take time out vying for our attention.
This summer, my prayer is that we will each experience that deep inner peace of God deep within our lives during this varied season of ministry, planning and holidays. So take a few moments to look at July and August and the events that are planned and schedule some opportunities when you take time out to soak in the peace of God, not just when you are away but in the midst of summer busyness.