By April O’Neil

The third “fruit of the spirit” is peace, and this week we learn how peace provides a cloak of comfort when it feels like life is spinning out of control.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

Where do you find peace?  Is it a physical place or cognitive departure?  Perhaps it’s both.  For me, I tap into peace in a special place in my back yard that I fondly call “my sanctuary”.  It has become my favorite environment in our home; my resting place.

A few months ago, my husband and I went shopping for yard furniture.  We were on a lean budget, so when we came upon our find, we were quite pleased.  The low price allowed us to splurge and complete our project with a vented canopy gazebo.  What happened next was quite unexpected.  Our initial desire to have a place to sit in our backyard, bloomed into a refuge where we can go and escape the busyness of life.  My sanctuary offers me a place to rest, read, reflect and be restored.  At this point, you are likely asking “how does that happen?”  It’s just a backyard with some furniture.  Let me take you on a tour and give you a glimpse of this exceptionally peaceful setting.

Picture a small two-seater bench with comfy pillows and a blanket.  Complimenting the bench is a table and two chairs.  Below the furniture sits a simple outdoor carpet to finish off the space. Above it all is the canopy.  I’ve not described anything out of the ordinary yet.  What makes this place so special is the life that surrounds it: plants, flowers, herbs and vines wrap themselves around this space and breath life into those who are privileged to sit here.  The birds songs compliment the natural beauty, and the sound of water flowing in the distant fountain adds a calming element to the experience.  My canine companions join me and together we delight in a paradise that promotes peaceful healing.  I spend time with God while being equipped with all the essential ingredients that create a recipe for a great day.

Where is your sanctuary?  If you haven’t discovered it yet, I encourage you to go build it!  To access peace, we must partner with God and intentionally make room for Him so we can open our hearts and minds to receive His plan for our lives.

For more inspiration from God’s word, read Phillipians 4:4-7.

How do you de-stress and find peace?  We’d love to hear from you! [email protected]