Living in peace is easy…when everything is going your way. But what happens when your life is interrupted by the less than serene realities of everyday life? Is it possible to live in peace in the middle of a chaotic world?
At times it feels as if there is a “peace-stealing” event at every turn. If it isn’t the threat of ISIL infiltrating the U.S. borders, it’s the reality of Ebola crossing the oceans and, as my son informed me last week (with a look of horror), China has now surpassed the United States as the largest economy in the world.
Sometimes we can sweep those unsettling feelings under the rug because they don’t seem to affect us in a personal way. But if you’re anything like me it’s the conflicts within my family that can send me careening off the pathway of peace. My natural inclination is to address the problem head on. Conflict doesn’t really bother me; I’d rather get things out in the open. Here’s how a likely confrontation might play out in my mind:
“Look, you’re creating a lot of tension in the family. Here’s what you’re doing wrong: __________. Here’s how you can make it right: ____________.”
“Listen, I’ve been thinking, and I’ve made a list of all my complaints. If you could just go over them, initial here and sign here, here, here and here, promising to never do them again, I think everything will become more peaceful!”
As much as I would love it, most situations aren’t solved through contract negotiation. Trust me, I’ve tried it. My husband used to dread any conversation that began with me pulling out my 3×5 cards. All kidding aside (except for the part about the cards, which I actually used to do), at times I secretly imagine that everyone just does what I say, making everything perfect, right? It never really happens that way and maybe that’s for my benefit in the end.
Are you facing a less than peaceful situation right now? Is your stomach in knots as you wonder how things will turn out for you and the ones you love? Difficult times have the potential to keep us zeroed in on our primary purpose—to bring glory to God. (Romans 11:36) That’s why it’s so important to examine our connection to God and His word while endeavoring to live in peace.
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14 (ESV)
Have you ever come to God with your list of complaints and demands and left feeling less than peaceful? Although we can confidently present our requests to God, at times it’s appropriate to stop asking and just be. This removes any sense of anxiety from our prayer life. I’ve found deep, lasting peace in meditating on God’s word, thanking Him for what He’s done and resting who He is. We find peace when we know the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Are you living in peace today? If not how can you change from frantic prayer to peaceful prayer? How can praying God’s word give you more confidence?
Coming Monday, October 20th–Are You Living in Peace? Part 2