January 2016

Nikki Ho-ShingJanuary: Peace

Each new year brings renewed energy and best laid plans. January is a month to recalibrate for many; it’s also the best time to find that perfect peace to set you on your journey for the year.

As such, I’m in the midst of an apartment purge.

Why?

I’ve allowed too much clutter to accumulate (notebooks from school are still piled under my desk). I’ve allowed bad habits to become routines (like opening the mail and leaving it on the kitchen table in an ever growing pile). Haste and limited time has trumped a commitment to tidiness. Because of this, I’ve found it harder and harder to find peace in my home.

But what happens when we take a look around our soul and our heart and realize we aren’t at peace in those places and spaces?  What happens when our bad habits become routine and we’ve allowed too much to accumulate within us? Where do we find peace and rest for our hearts and mind? The answer is found throughout the Bible. The Lord tells us quite simply that rest is found in Him. That’s it.

In Matthew 11:28-30, He says that all of us who are “heavy-laden” and burdened should come to Him and He will give us rest. So many of us find ourselves burdened by challenges in our daily lives. And yet, what a comfort it is to know that taking on the “easy yoke” of our Father will give us rest and peace. He assures us that He is “gentle and humble in heart” and we will “find rest for our souls.” On the contrary, when left to our own human devices, we are neither gentle or humble beings. So what makes us think we can find the rest we need on our own? To figure out how best to organize my apartment, I’ve turned to a bestselling organizing guru’s book because she knows better than I do. To figure out how to purge ourselves of burdens and unrest, we can and should turn to our Father and Creator because He knows everything. The lesson for us in those verses from Matthew and throughout the Bible is to submit to that calling of the Lord and to take his offering of rest.

Going back to my organizing frenzy, the reality is that it really doesn’t matter how organized and tidy our physical spaces are. If we haven’t chosen to relinquish everything to Him–our stresses, our worries, our to do lists, the stuff we’ve accumulated in our heart and mind and homes!, the bad habits we want to shake, our doubt and our unbelief–we will always find ourselves searching for that perfect peace only He can give us. That’s a difficult yoke and heavy burden to carry, and we often don’t even realize that on our own. You see, the Lord knows that we spend an awful lot of time *searching* for peace, which is why His answer to us is that we will *find* it in Him.

As we start out the year, with cleaner homes and a long list of plans, let us also start it off receiving the God-given offering of peace and rest. Let us look to Him and trust in Him for the tranquility and respite found only in Him. Let us give Him the things we can’t carry so He can give us His yoke of peace.

Written By,
Nikki Ho-Shing
Writing Contributor for The Holy Tabernacle
January 2016