“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
I don’t know about you, but life has thrown me some curveballs. Not all bad ones, although the heartbreak or empty bank account have snuck up on me. I’m talking about the ones that make you think they are a blessing or something good from God. How confusing! Just when you think you’ve started to figure out where God is leading you, BAM. Just kidding.
It is in those moments that I panic a little. “What if I choose the wrong thing?” “Will God be disappointed with my decision?” “Can I abstain from this decision, pleeease?”
But here’s the thing. God is ALWAYS working overtime in our lives. He has promised us His peace, no matter what curveball we’re getting smacked with. If you’ve been through that “rock bottom” or fork in the road that makes the entirety of your being feel completely overwhelmed, you know what I’m talking about. Because, in those moments, God shows up. Not when we want Him to, or often how we want Him to. But He does.
Sometimes it takes me weeks, months, or years to see that. Whoops. Hey, hindsight is 20/20, right?!
Like the other fruits of the spirit, I’ve come to realize that peace is 100% completely not dependent on our current circumstances.
Throughout the Bible, God promises peace to his followers, only when they surrender to His will. Finding God’s will? Wow, that’s a tough one to explain, but it basically comes down to this.
Realize that very few things are in your control.
Peace is given to us by God when we submit those things to Him, and TRUST that He will come through for us, in whatever way that happens to manifest itself.
According to John 15, bearing fruit is a heart issue, not an hands one.
So try this. Google “How to find Peace”. You’ll get list after list of “just declutter your life” “meditate” “detach” or “say no to things”. These things aren’t necessarily bad (you know by now I LOVE cleaning), but they represent the world’s definition of peace. And adding MORE things to my to-do list doesn’t bring me peace. Quite the contrary!
If I’m honest, I tend to detach. Things don’t bother me because I don’t let them. I run from conflict, because, well it’s just not fun!
But that is far from how God designed us. Life for me is about remembering to engage, even when circumstances aren’t great. I’m working on choosing to stick through the relationships when they’re dotted with conflict, love others even when they don’t deserve it or return the favor and turn to God when things are out of my control.
That’s what brings me peace.
How many times have you prayed or heard prayers for people during trials that included “Lord, bring so-and-so peace with whatever you have planned”? That’s not an accident, friends. Peace is not something I can choose to embody. It is a surrendering of the things that bring me the opposite–agitation, distress or worry. It is a gift from God!
I pray for my friends, for my family and for myself to find this peace. Hold those memories of when God showed up close, as to remember them the next time our lives get overwhelmed. Hopefully, we can find that peace sooner than rock-bottom, but know that God is better than whatever you’re facing.
How have you found peace despite this imperfect, messy life?