Searching for real peace in the middle of a busy life? Be sure you're looking in the right place.
My oldest daughter was having a particularly stressful day (as stressful as a nine year old can have). She really just needed some time to relax. She went into the bathroom, closed the door, and started the bath water. Unfortunately, her brothers didn't get the memo — they barged into the bathroom. After being yelled at to get out, they continued to play in the hallway, still being far too noisy and distracting for her. The poor girl never did get a relaxing bath as relief to her stressful day.
Inside, I was laughing at her nine-year-old problems. However, I could totally relate to her search and her frustrations. That search for rest, relaxation, and peace seems an even bigger struggle as an adult. There have been so many times when I've wished for just a few minutes of quiet, a few minutes of peace.
You’ve been there too, right? Life is non-stop. The world around you moving at an impossible pace. Your calendar is literally full, with no room to add even one more thing. In a season of chaos, you find yourself longing for peace. But peace doesn’t seem possible.
What if we’re searching for the wrong kind of peace?
This quest for peace isn’t new to the 21st century. Almost 2,000 years ago, in the opening of his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Even centuries ago, Paul desired to send peace to his readers. One particular word in this greeting caught my attention, though, and it wasn’t the word peace, but the preposition from. (Yes, I’m letting the inner grammar nerd out here, but even if you don’t know a preposition from an adverb, you’ll get the message. Stick with me.)
Paul doesn't just wish his friends peace; he wishes them peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We tend to get confused about the source of peace. Google tells us that peace means “freedom from disturbance; mental calm; freedom from war.” The world tells us we can find peace in solitude, remote destinations, or by loving everyone and tolerating even immoral behavior.
If we are bound by the world’s definition of peace, it is simply unattainable. When’s the last time you have been completely free from disturbance? Experienced mental calm? Not heard a segment about fighting, war, or dispute on the news? A life of peace is impossible by the world’s standards.
But real, lasting peace doesn't come from a relaxing bath, quiet moments, or standing on a mountain top or sandy beach. The Bible has a different view of peace, and for that I am so grateful. The Bible tells us that peace does not come from being happy with everyone, or quietness without interruption, or freedom from disputes. The Bible tells us that peace comes from God.
Later in his letter to the Philippians, Paul reinforces this idea. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, emphasis mine). Before we can find the peace of God, we must do as verse six says. We must take everything to the Lord with prayer and petition; we must submit to His will for our lives; we must act on what He calls us to do even when it is uncomfortable and hard.
It is only then that we will find the peace of God, a peace that only comes from God. And His real, lasting peace changes everything.
I know because I’ve felt it. When I think about my responsibilities (mom of four, principal’s wife, part-time teacher, owner and only employee of Divine Dishes), by the world’s standards, I will never feel peace because there will be no moments without distraction. But when I recognize that I’ve prayed about each of these responsibilities, submitted them to God’s will, and know that I am being obedient to His calling, I realize that I’m exactly where God wants me. And I feel peace.
Will there still be craziness, stress, and frustrations? Yes, yes, and yes! When that stress starts to build and I begin to feel anxious about all that I have going on, I remind myself to present my requests to God, and pray for the peace that comes only from Him.
When you are truly in God's will, even in the middle of the chaos of life, peace is possible.
A peace from God, trusting He is in control and has your best interest in His plans — an eternal plan. A peace that will last through all eternity because you have put your faith, hope, and trust in the God of salvation who sent His Son as a sacrifice to save you from your sins. Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful for the peace that comes from You. I pray that others come to find this peace by accepting You as their personal savior and submitting to Your will for their lives. I praise You, Lord, for bringing that peace into my life. I pray that You send Your Spirit to remind me to present my requests to You and help me remain in Your will. Thank You for the assurance of salvation and the promise of everlasting peace in heaven because I have put my trust in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen