Why doesn’t life ever seem to slow down?
I was talking with a good friend and mentor of mine sometime ago. We discussed how a peaceful life always seems to be just around the proverbial river bend. The next season of life always promises to provide the peace we desire.
Now, some people do sign up for too many things. We live in a culture which worships busyness. I am not using the word ‘worship’ just for effect either.
I have caught myself both looking up to people because they are busy and trying to subtly tell my friends how busy I am.
My focus for this post though is not our tendency to worship busyness. It is to talk about how we assume a change in circumstances will bring us peace. This assumption is dangerous for two reasons.
For one, it gives us a fragile peace which is in reality no peace at all. No circumstance is beyond the possibility of change. The circumstances which tend to bring the most peace also tend to be the most susceptible to change.
For example, it is quite easy to believe money, status, or relationships will bring us peace. Those things can also change in a very small amount of time regardless of what we do. Even when nothing happens to them, we know they can change and we can feel the fragility of the peace they offer.
This fragility brings an anxiety which is quite powerful. It is greater than any amount of peace we can gain from circumstances. This is one of the reasons why we assume peace will come in the next season of life, but it never does.
Even when we gain the desired circumstance, the possibility of losing it can make us feel less at peace than when we started. You can see this successful business men who always seem uneasy about their job or good mothers who always seem uneasy about their families.
These people love what they do and are good at it. They also seem to feel an impending danger is right around the corner. Even when nothing is going wrong, they express a great deal of worry.
I believe this fear is driven by the fragility of their peace.
This reminds me of how God does not give us commands for the sake of telling us what to do. He wants what’s best for us. He wants us to experience a true and lasting peace.
He knows finding peace in circumstances feels like walking on a tight rope. As a good and loving Father, He does not want our lives to feel like this. His desire for us is to experience a deep joy, satisfaction, and peace each day.
When you wake up tomorrow, I want you to ask yourself a question. Ask yourself ‘do I believe God wants me to experience real peace and joy today’. If we look at Scripture, the answer to this is a resounding ‘yes’.
Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you – 1 Peter 5:7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
This is how I break down those verses. When I know God cares for me, I can tell him what I am anxious about and believe he will help. This doesn’t mean I will get the circumstances I want.
This does mean I get to rest in the peace of knowing a God who cares for me is on the job. This is a way better kind of peace than the one based on circumstances. I believe this is what Paul means when he says the ‘peace of God’ will surpass our understanding.
I think when we let go and don’t need to understand how God is going to work things out we get a peace which is beyond our imagination.
It’s my understanding which tells me to worry about the change of my circumstances. The peace of God tells me a loving God is watching over me. The first kind of peace takes away my ability to enjoy today and hurts my ability to handle the changes certain to come.
The second kind of peace can help me enjoy today and keep my head above despair when things go south.
Your life will probably never slow down. I assume a pretty consistent stream of challenges and problems will come your way. You don’t have to find peace in the very slim possibility of this stream slowing down to a trickle.
You can find peace in knowing the Creator of the Universe, the guy who came up with sunsets and sunrises, cares about you. This is the peace I wish for you. This is the peace which your heart was made to enjoy everyday.
Where does your peace come from today?
How can you challenge yourself to give your anxieties to God?
Do you believe God wants you to experience peace and joy today?
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