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Chapel speakers talk about peace in life's chaos

Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2016) – "Peace in chaotic circumstance is not natural, but it is possible," Holly McRae told California Baptist University students on Feb. 8.

Aaron and Holly McRae spoke at chapel about having peace in the middle of life's struggles. Aaron is the pastor of Hillside Community Church in Rancho Cucamonga. They have three children. In 2009, their daughter Kate, age 5 at the time, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. In the years since, Kate has undergone surgeries, procedures and treatments to save her life. She has seen her cancer go into remission only to find it come back twice. Kate is scheduled to undergo another round of chemotherapy soon.

Peace is not found in trying to fix the circumstances, Aaron said. He spoke from Philippians 4:4-9, where the Apostle Paul addresses how to obtain God's peace.

"So what do we do in those moments when life doesn't turn out as we hoped it would?" Aaron asked. "The peace that God offers isn't based on what's going on in our life. It's rooted in the presence of God."

Aaron and Holly said they were raised in the church and they know the Bible, but holding onto God's peace through their daughter's illness has still been challenging.

Aaron said to overcome anxiety and fear, believers need to focus more on God and what is true, right, pure and lovely, as Philippians 4:8 says.

"'Do not be anxious'—that has been a battle for us," Aaron said. "It has caused us, forced us, to take our eyes solely off of our circumstances and see God at work."

Believers also need to know that peace is not euphoria or that all sadness is gone, Holly said. It is a soul that is settled, but that will not happen without trust.

"It's the sense of being protected when life is anything but," she said. "Trust is foundational to peace. I'm still learning to trust my daughter's story and my story to its Author."

Only Christ and trusting in Him will bring a peace that circumstances cannot steal, Holly said.

"God's taking our story and your story and he's weaving it in into something much bigger, a much bigger story, a much grander story," she said.