I have been so excited to write about this piece of armour because I absolutely love shoes. I used to work in a shoe shop (not as glamorous as it sounds, especially when measuring sweaty kids’ feet in the summer!). I am also someone who battles with anxiety so I am aware of the impact God’s peace has on my mental health, in my day-to-day life.
I want you to think about your favourite pair of shoes…Got it? Okay good. My favourite pair are white, dainty, low top converse. I have had them for years. I know I can confidently step out, for whatever adventure the day brings, and my feet will be totally protected for the whole day. Maybe your pair is like mine? Or possibly you have a pair of sliders or a favourite pair of heels that give you instant confidence when you wear them.
Shoes are a staple of our daily outfits, not just to complete the look, but to be able to walk out feeling comfortable, confident and ready to face the day. Have you ever gone out wearing a pair that doesn’t quite fit right? So. Much. Pain.
Maybe there are some things in your life you have been wearing because they ‘just looked so good in the shop you couldn’t resist’, but they have caused you nothing but discomfort ever since. Things that give you more anxiety than peace – lying to your parents about who you have been with, gossiping with friends, watching a movie that means you then can’t sleep afterward.
Sometimes we need to take things off that are hindering us instead of protecting us and replace them with what God has given. What do you need to step out of and step into that will bring peace instead of anxiety? You have to decide what new pair to wear, so that you don’t just wonder out wearing nothing. This would just cause you to constantly be looking down at every step you take, at every rubbish situation you are currently battling with. You have to decide to pick up a new pair, that is in line with what God is saying about you. Because, when you have the right shoes on, you can look up and focus your gaze on the bigger picture of where God is taking you.
John 16:33 says,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
I understand this is a lot easier said than done. I have battled with anxiety attacks and feeling so overwhelmed by negative emotions and fear, that I have been unable to even leave the house. But I do know that God loves me, that He has good plans for my life and He has promised me peace in His presence.
The news of Jesus is good news, the gospel message is one of peace and freedom. When the world around us seems complicated and broken, our shoes of peace allow us to go out confidently and even to be able to reassure our friends and family about the peace and hope of an eternal God who is always by our side, despite whatever ground we are walking over.
“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties” – C.S.Lewis
It can feel like we are on a emotional ‘corona-coaster’, as we experience the ups and downs of our moods during this pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one-minute but suddenly weeping with anxiety the next, but God wants us to know that on the good days and on the bad days, He has given us peace to wear in every situation.
Even if some days I struggle to find my shoes of peace, I know that I have them and they won’t have gone off for a walk without me! Just like we have a pair of shoes for every occasion, God’s peace fits perfectly on our feet wherever we go.