Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Can we talk about peace for a minute? No, I don’t mean the Zen-like moments you sometimes experience or the moments of peace you will into your life, an escape from the daily chaos of your life. I’m talking about the peace that God promises. The peace that passes all understanding.

Yeah, that one. The one that seeps into your soul even though stress, worry, fear, doubt, pain, the Enemy pounding on the door of your life, the door of your heart, demanding entry. Wanting nothing more than to uproot your faith, your sense of self, your sense of worth, your sense of joy. To destroy the gifts that God has so richly bestowed upon you. {the ones that cannot be stolen unless we allow the Enemy the foothold. the opportunity}

Have you experienced that kind of peace in your life?

Have you experienced that kind of peace today? Yesterday? Recently?

I have a friend, a sweet and gentle soul, who recently lost her husband without warning. He was away on business and never came home and I cannot imagine the loss, the pain, the heartache. Can there be peace in such a time as this?

My husband’s co-worker took his 10-year-old son to baseball practice last week and without warning the young man collapsed on the field and never regained consciousness. Who can possibly imagine the devastation, hurt, confusion or pain these parents are battling? Can there be peace is such a time of suffering as this?

On April 15, 276 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped, taken from their schools, their families, their place of love and safety, tearing apart communities and breaking the hearts of mothers and fathers and instilling fear in so many. Can there be peace in circumstances such as these?

The easy, simple answer to these questions, at least at first glance, is, no. No, peace is not possible in such dire, awful circumstances.

But, the deeper, more complicated answer to these questions, if approached through God’s eyes and God’s promises, must be, yesIf it is not, yes, if it cannot be, yes, then God must be considered, well, a liar. His promises cannot be counted as true. We cannot rely on him or his words.

But that leads to despair and hopelessness and helplessness. And that, that just is not what this is all about. That is not what this life offers. Not with God, anyway. Not for me. Having walked through the desert and then through the streets of Jerusalem with Jesus, I cannot accept that this life is ours to figure out. Jesus walked through this world and he touched the hearts of just about every person to whom he spoke.

the promise of God in a sky at sunrise
the promise of God in a sky at sunset

And, then, he died for each of them. He died for me. He died for the woman who lost her husband unexpectedly. He died for the parents of the little boy who died without reason or understanding. He died for all 276 Nigerian school girls and every member of their families.

He died. And God wept.

Yes, God wept. How could he not weep for the loss of his Son?

Even if Jesus’ death was part of the plan from the beginning of time, could it hurt any less to see Jesus mocked, beaten, humiliated, crucified? And doesn’t God weep with us in our pain, our loss, our sorrow, our heartbreak?

And isn’t that why he promises us a peace that we cannot find anywhere else but with him? That we cannot find anywhere else but in him?  

A peace that passes all human understanding, logic, or explanation. A peace that can seep into your soul even when you are in the darkest place or in the loneliest place or in the lowest valley. And what does it require? Just an on-going conversation with the Creator. The One who created you and knows you. Just trusting him, talking to him, confiding in him.

Rail against him if you must. Shake your fist at him if you need to?

Collapse into his arms when you are done and cannot take one more step or one more breath because it hurts too much.

We can will peace into our lives indeed. But it is momentary. It is fleeting. It is not deep or comforting. Not in the way that the peace of God is. Not in that seep-into-your-soul kind of way.

But we can know a deep, abiding peace in Christ because we have been given the mind of Christ. We have been given the Spirit of Christ as a guide, a comforter, a teacher.

I don’t know about you, but that is a peace for which I yearn. No more do I want to navigate this life alone, in my own power or strength. No more do I want to will the fleeting peace of this world into my life.

No, I need the peace that I cannot understand. I need the peace that permeates every bit of me and reminds me that even when everything teeters on the edge of despair, God holds me in his hand. Sometimes even as my world falls away beneath my feet.

Because in the end, Jesus will be there, welcoming me to the glory and light that is beyond all understanding on this side of eternity.

Because in the end, there will be no end. Amen.


6 thoughts on “Peace vs. Understanding

  1. I thought I had faith in God all “figured out” neatly in my life. Then I get a phone call telling me my 39yr old husband died completely unexpectedly. Now I know what true faith in God is. I cannot even imagine where I would be right now without TRUE faith

    1. My sweet, amazing friend, how my heart just holds you as it breaks over your loss. I still cannot fathom the depth of sorrow and grief this is for you and you inspire me by your faith. I miss you daily down here in North Carolina and pray for you often. You are a precious gift to me.

  2. This is awesome, Judith. I don’t know what I’d do right now if the peace of Christ wasn’t flooding my soul. I know that I have to pursue that on purpose. Thank you for the reminder!

    1. Hey, Marie! Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m glad that my words were able to bring you a reminder of the peace of Christ today. And boy, do I know what you mean, sister! Where would we be without the overwhelming, indescribable sense of peace?

  3. “No more do I want to navigate this life alone, in my own power or strength.” This is something I struggle with, even though I know doing it on my own has never worked for me.

    1. I hear you, brother! No matter how many times I learn the lesson, it seems it is one I have to relearn often. I was telling someone the other day that I am a control freak by nature and I wrestle too often with God for control of the details of my life.

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

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