For the Frenzied, Seeking Peace

11:05 AMHeather

When I think about when I've felt most panicked and the most out of control, it is probably four years ago when my husband had a huge health scare.  I was at the movies with some friends.  Chris called to tell me he wasn't feeling well.  Ten minutes later, I got a second call asking me to come home.  I sent a friend to our house to keep our kids as I made my way home to take Chris to the ER.  Driving home quickly, I got a third call that raised the hair on my neck.  My friend Beth had gotten to my home, taken one look at my husband, and felt she needed to call an ambulance.  

The next hour was the definition of chaos, feeling out of control, panicked.  My mind raced because my worst fear felt as though it could be coming true.  I was afraid I could become a young widow.  I was envisioning my world turning upside down.  And, there, in those moments, I found comfort in the presence of my level headed and encouraging friends.  I felt the promise of peace because of how peaceful they were, as we sat in the ER exam room while the doctors looked at my husband.  Their lack of panic was contagious. In their kindness and strength, I found peace.

This summer, I found a verse that made me rethink everything I've ever thought about God and His peace.  I realized that I'd always considered God's peace like that I got from my friends in those dark, scary moments. 

But, here's the thing.  I've always considered that in my dark, deepest pit moments in life, God gives out peace.  In those frenzied trials, it often feels like a hide and seek game.  If I only plead with him enough or beg in just the right way, then He will give me peace.  And, hopefully, enough of it to override my fears.  He is the giver of peace, right?  So, mother may I, pretty please?  And, honestly, in those moments, peace often feels elusive because I don't feel I've received it or because my fears and anxieties seem too much for any peace to come.

Glimpse of GRACE:  But, this mentality misses one very important truth.  And it's a key truth.  "The Lord is peace."  Judges 6:24  I had to read that one a few times to let it soak in.  Do you see the distinction?  Not only does God GIVE peace, but he IS peace.  The Lord IS peace.  It doesn't just describe him or something he gives...it IS him.  There, in Judges 6, Gideon had an encounter with the Lord, and thus built him an altar, declaring the Lord IS peace.  This subtle distinction means big things to me.  When I am uneasy, facing unrest, not only can I ask God to give me peace, but I can find peace when I find the Lord.  When He gives peace, he is giving himself.  Because He is peace.  I can lean in, seek Him, ask Him to reveal Himself to me, and there I will find peace.  In God's presence, peace reigns.  It's not just a gift he gives. It's also the very nature of who He is.  I can seek out peace from him, to be sure.  But, even more importantly, why not cut to the chase?  When I seek out HIM, peace will come. Quit putting the cart before the horse.  Boy, I do this often!  I seek patience, I seek love, I seek gentleness, I seek peace, I seek self-control.  I ask and ask the Lord to give me all these things.  How about just seeking the LORD?  Because my Father IS all of those fruits of the Spirit, those character traits, those things that I want more of within me.  He IS each of them.  Such a simple idea.  Such truth to change my frenzied approach to this faith walk.  Focus on just seeking Him.  All else will follow.  Because He IS all else. 

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