FINDING PEACE IN CHAOS
Sometimes I start to think that my peace depends on stillness—the absence of noise, distractions, and interruptions to my plans—and everything going the way I think it should go. When this picture of peace isn’t met, I can quickly set myself to the task of putting the pieces back in my order, as the future may be threatened—at least in my vision—if I don’t act quickly. This doesn’t just apply to the situations and systems in my life, but also to the people I feel a responsibility to, like my child. In the midst of setting my mind and actions to quickly re-establishing that order (like a to-do list that must be finished immediately) I realize that’s not actually peace at all. That’s just me trying to steer the boat, and it doesn’t affect the storm—in fact it might just partner with it.
So what does God’s peace look like? That’s the only real peace that I have constant, un-interrupted access to—so how do I access it? How does it become real in my life as opposed to something I’m trying to control? As it turns out, it’s found in the yielding to the Spirit of God. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23). I don’t need more peace as if I’m lacking any, and I don’t need more peaceful situations or people that cooperate with my expectations for peaceful conditions. I need to yield to God’s Spirit so that I will bear the fruit of His nature and not the nature of what’s around me or my attempts to control it. Throughout the Bible the word “peace” is associated with God. It is found in Him when we are: turning from evil actions towards God’s ways and therefore, peace (1 Peter 3:11), or turning from selfish ambition (James 3:18), or casting our cares to God (Philippians 4:7), fixing our minds on God (Isaiah 26:3), acknowledging Jesus as the Prince of Peace in us (Isaiah 9:6), and it is His peace that He gives us—which is different than our natural understanding of peace (John 14:27).
There are many more Scriptures that associate God and His Kingdom with peace. So how exactly does me jumping in the driver’s seat of my circumstances and of those around me, (perhaps of selfish ambitions), establish peace? Quite possibly, it could cause things to become further off track, further from God’s will, and ultimately lead to less peace, by the Word’s definition.
When things seem to go awry—or not like I envisioned—in my life or my child’s, what practically can I do to access this Peace of the One who is in me and connected to me, spirit to Spirit? I can start by trusting Him, knowing that in relying on Him I find true peace. I can thank Him for who He is and what He has done, and give to Him the things that threaten to interrupt my internal peace in my vision. I can trust Him with the outcome, and I can keep my mind and heart fixed on Him and who truly He is.
As I remember who He is, and His uninterrupted connection to me, I can begin to yield to His leadership and walk in His ways that respond to situations and circumstances the way Jesus responds—in truth, unconditional love, and hope for each coming circumstance. As I do this, and as I grow in this trust walk with Him, the Prince of Peace will truly reign in me and over my situations. And my son…he too will learn to be led by Peace.
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