“Ego says: Once everything falls into place, I will find peace.
Spirit says: Find peace and everything will fall into place.” – Unknown
Read it again. There are two ways in which we think we’ll find peace. Either through making our wants come first, or our needs. Though ourselves, or through the Spirit.
What is the way to find peace?
I for one have not always had peace in my life. I am a rather impatient person at times. If there is something I want in my life, like love for example, I want it to happen now. I say to myself, “Once I have a boyfriend, I will finally be okay with where I am.” I am a worrier to my core. I worry about my friends, my family, my past, and my future. I hardly have time to enjoy the present. My first ten minutes spent in any class I take is spent looking over my week and writing down, mulling over, and double checking everything that I have to have done by Saturday. Actually, my planning has gotten to the point where I write out everything I need to have done for every day.
I don’t always have peace about my past. I’m one who looks back and says, “Was I really that stupid when I was…” who knows. 8? 10? 13? My past 3 years? I just say “Wow, how did I manage to screw up that badly?” And it consumes me throughout the day. It consumes me throughout my week. It gives me a sad and tired look from my sleepless nights and my constantly moving days. Often, I am just sad. I am in distress. I find quiet places to cry because I do not have peace in my heart.
There are days when I do have peace. Those are the days when I’m in chapel, or in the Word, singing a hymn, or conversing with friends about the love of God. Those are the days I have peace, and those are the days I get attacked the most. The days when Satan says, “Remember, you are destined to be alone. Remember that no one will forgive those mistakes you made. Remember the 20 things you have to do before the week is out.” This and that till I break and feel like God’s promises to me are nothing.
I am not content with where I am or who I am. I am not content with being alone or with people. I am not content with the personality or appearance that God gave me. I tell myself, “If this happens, then I’ll be okay.” Or “If I change myself this way, then people will like me.” Or fill in the blank, I’m sure you’ve thought of countless more.
We convince ourselves that if this or that will happen, then we will be happy. But guess what? Life isn’t good, life isn’t fair. And if we are constantly waiting for something to happen, or even thinking that working towards something to make it happen, it isn’t going to make us happy. Because one more thing will get in the way to bring us down. Because we focus on the ‘what I want’ instead of ‘what do I need and the Spirit want?” We aren’t starting with the God of peace, so we are going to end with the opposite: the man of discontent and distress.
“Be still and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10
When was the last time you were still? To enjoy the morning sunrise? The morning prayer where you say, “Thank You for giving me a new chance!” To stop and say, “Hey, I’ve been pretty blessed in my life.” The sun is shining, the air is clear, I still have a body that functions normally. Life is good when I stop to think about it.
Those are the mornings where I feel at peace.
God did not give us a peace like the world (John 14:27), but a peace that only comes we seek Him. When we say, “God, I really screwed up this time. I can’t do this without You.” And He smiles like the caring Father He is and says, “Come child, let me carry you.”
Oftentimes we like to say, “Hey God, give me Your hand, let’s go down this path.” No, that’s not the way it works. That’s the day when ego gets before Spirit. That’s the point when I lose my way. The place where I lose my patience with people and do things my own stubborn way. The place when I focus on the negative and become so sad, instead of joyful. The place when I am alone and not content where God wants me to be because I want something or someone now. No, what we need to say is “God, I can’t do this. I don’t’ know where to go.” And He says, “Come child, let me comfort you, let me carry you.”
We become content, happy, at peace, when we give God the reins and not let Satan knock down our shields. The day we put up our Sword and our feet are standing on the gospel of peace written by the God of Peace.
Peace is not going to come when “everything falls into place”. Because, guess what? Not everything is going to fall into place the way we want it to. Instead, we might just take the hard road and fight every good thing God is trying to put into place and bless us with. And that will give us anything but peace.
We are to be joyful in hard circumstances. We are to be patient when things don’t go our way. But most of all, we are to be faithful in coming to God in prayer. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” God’s Spirit is always with us. He’ll never leave us. And He will allow the things we need to happen when we find peace with Him.