Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. – John 14:27

It came time for me to write my Tuesday blog post, and though I prayed, I had nothing. That’s because I hadn’t yet lived through my day of aggravation.

It started with a deadline project over which I was completely powerless. I had to wrap it up this morning because I had an important medical appointment at lunchtime. Instead, it hung over me while I was out, and I continued to beat my head against a wall for answers I couldn’t get.

The appointment itself – a test I must have repeated every six months – was a breeze. I walked in, turned in my paperwork, sat down long enough to read a magazine editorial written by a former colleague, got called back, was immediately tested, and was released from custody. That is, till I got to my car, when the receptionist called to tell me they meant to schedule me for a second, much longer test. Oops. I would have to call back to schedule and then return in a couple of weeks.

Still waiting for answers on my deadline project, I stopped by my friendly neighborhood warehouse store on my way home, where I stumbled upon gluten-free protein bars – a potential best friend to a hypoglycemic celiac. It wasn’t till I brought them home that my son saw they don’t  have any “gluten-containing ingredients” but are processed on equipment that also processes wheat. This won’t do when you have celiac disease. I will be returning them to my friendly neighborhood warehouse store, but not till I call the manufacturer’s customer service line to discuss the FDA’s new labeling laws.

I delayed that call because I spent much of my afternoon either on the phone with a nurse from the medical clinic or on the phone with the manufacturer of my new washer. You see, my old washer – all of seven years old, in fact – had broken bearings, which would cost more to fix than it would cost to replace the washer and dryer. So this one is a totally different model, one that rated highly in reviews, except that we didn’t realize until we bought it that you can’t wash mattress covers in it.

I wash my antimicrobial mattress cover with my sheets weekly. It’s a light terry without heavy plastic backing, so I figured the company surely couldn’t mean this design could throw the machine out of balance or cause the physical injury described in the owner’s manual. But I was wrong, as two outsourced customer service reps assured me.

“Please read the warning to me from your owner’s manual,” one of them asked me. “You can wash it alone on the bulky setting, but you could break the washer and void the warranty,” the other warned.

Aggravation seemed to be the game of the day, and I didn’t want to play. As I stewed, the Spirit within me gently reminded me about the peace of Jesus, something I was missing today. He gives us His peace just as He offers us salvation. Both are priceless gifts. But like any gift, it not only has a giver but a receiver. Jesus was giving me His peace, but I wasn’t receiving it.

His peace won’t resolve my problems. My deadline project was completed, though not to my specifications. I still have to travel again to the other end of town because a medical scheduler wasn’t on the ball. I still have to return the protein bars. I still have to figure out how to wash my mattress cover regularly. But His peace helps my heart be right so that the aggravation won’t play games with my head. And that, my friends, is where most battles are waged.

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