Filling in the Blanks

By Robyn Spradlin

Have you ever been assigned a task or a project, only to find out you possess no knowledge about it? You have no training or previous experience with anything like this, but here it is on your, already packed plate, and you have an audience! There are swarms of people gathering around, watching, waiting to see what you will do with this “opportunity.” Someone has handed you a couple of abbreviated lines of instructions, but as you look at them, they are missing words and letters here and there. You are left to fill in the blanks! Your frustration is mounting. Your blood pressure is rising. Thoughts race through your mind, “Are they serious? Am I expected to do something with this when I don’t know anything about it? Surely, I am not expected to fill in the blanks.” The more frustrated you become, the more agitated and aggravated you are. Hum? I see I am walking where you are standing. Hey, don’t feel bad. You are not standing in this alley alone. No, I am standing right beside you. The good news is that there is a source of help when things like this occur.

I could be off base, but I figure, you have had similar situations in your life. If there is one thing I find tremendously uncomfortable is “bluffing” my way through things. I would rather know what I am doing!!! I might like to do word searches or crossword puzzle fill-ins, but not in day-to-day life! I held various positions within a retail company for approximately twenty years. It was customary to bluff my way through operations in every position without knowing how to perform the task given. Some of the time, I had no clue where to start! “Training” consisted of a few videos and brief explanations of duties from upper management. The company mentality was “sink or swim” after tossing a recruit overboard into the raging sea of retail madness. From a natural standpoint, I lived on the edge and stressed. From a spiritual perspective, I had to focus, learn to press in, grab the tangible Spirit of God and gain answers through prayer. At times bluffing seemed more natural, but bluffing does not benefit. When I am pretending, I am filling in the blanks unassisted. That is not only foolish but dangerous.

In recent months, the Lord has instructed our pastors and other ministers we follow how to hear the Lord and follow His lead. Scripture speaks of “following peace” and “seeking and pursuing peace” (2 Timothy 2:22, Hebrews 12:14, Psalm 34:14, 1 Peter 3:11, KJV). To pursue peace means you are chasing after peace. In other words, you do not depend on yourself to figure out the answers or the missing pieces handed to you. You are seeking peace, not pieces to fit empty places. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also you are called in one body and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:15, KJV). “And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, KJV). These verses make it understandable that God’s peace is ours to receive, but we must let His peace rule in our hearts, or it will not surpass our understanding and keep our hearts and minds through Christ.

When His peace is ruling in our hearts, it will guide and direct us. The peace of God will supply the answers to the blank spots we are seeing. If we are following peace, we will not get sidelined or sidetracked with frustration and concern because we do not know an immediate answer. No, we will allow peace to “garrison and mount guard over our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7 AMPC). In so doing, we will hear a still small voice, the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, and we will be obedient to the instructions we receive. Until next time.

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