What do you think of when you think of real peace? Is it a green meadow on a hill somewhere with a light breeze, or your comfy bed in the early hours of those mornings when you know you can sleep in, or maybe on a beach somewhere far away from your job and the hustle of everyday life.
I tend to think about my childhood. When I was a child and had a bad dream I would get up and go out to the living room and snuggle with my mother on the couch. She was a single parent when I was young and she spent many nights worrying about things like money, time, and trying to raise her three children alone. All things I really never grasped until I got older and had children of my own. Even then I have been blessed with a good wife and mother to my two children and could never dream of how I would ever manage alone.
When I went out to that couch and snuggled on my mother’s lap fear would be calmed and my anxious mind would find rest and peace. I many of my early memories are fond memories of sitting there late at night, sometimes eating popcorn, and feeling safe. My mother was able to calm my fears, because she was bigger than me and she was bigger than my nightmares. When you are child there is no one bigger or stronger or of greater authority than your parents.
Though I am sure that my presence out on that couch probably brought some comfort to my mother, at least, hopefully reassuring that she truly was a great parent; it did very little to help with worries about how to make ends meet, other than to put them off for a time.
Putting worries off for a time seems to be the default method of dealing for many people these days. Some do it so well that they live as though they have no money problems until the credit limits are reached and they find themselves in real trouble. Is that the best we can do or the only peace that we can hope to find, to simply refuse to think about it?
Well, I would say the answer is a resounding “NO”. We just simply need to find someone that is bigger than we are, someone that is bigger than the problems that we are facing. As a Christian I have found that “someone”.
Jesus Christ, who said:
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Jesus Christ, who has put the invitation out:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
This Jesus is the source of true comfort and rest. When I am uncertain or afraid of circumstances that I am facing I am able to curl up on His couch. Things don’t always turn out the way I want them and my life story is does not read like a list of supernatural deliverances from impossible situations, but as a Christian I truly say that I have never faced a problem that I was not able to bring to Him and find the rest I was looking for.
Real peace is not a meadow, or a beach somewhere away from life. Real peace happens in the middle of real life, even when real life is best described as a storm, because let’s face it, running away from problems really does not get us anywhere if the problems are real. The only time running away has ever gotten us anywhere is when the problems were imaginary and in that case new ones always arrive, because we are the common denominator.
So, where does the rub hit the road? As a pastor, I have had the privileged of walking with fellow believers to the end. Some have walked that path after the long journey of life and others have found themselves their with that dread “doctor’s phone call.” I can tell you it works. Every time someone puts their trust in Jesus there comes peace.
This is not the same as surrender and this does not mean that we don’t pray for deliverance, but it is trusting God to take care of us regardless of what happens. It is knowing that when we are at the end of ourself, God is big enough to carry us through. It is knowing that there is something bigger than this life and trusting God with that, too.
So, where is does this get personal to me? I am a blessed father of two beautiful little girls and my wife is 10 weeks pregnant with our third. Today at work I got the phone call from my wife, “I am bleeding.” There can be a lot of things that go through your mind in moment when you hear that. The first thought, “was how bad, are YOU okay?” Then there comes the realization that this could mean there is something wrong with the pregnancy, and this could be a miscarriage. My wife called the doctor, and I have been around long enough to know what they would say, but I kept still. There is nothing that the doctor can do at this point. So, either the baby will live or the baby will die. There nothing to be done, other than pray and trust God.
There is only one place to go to find peace in a circumstance that you have no control over. I find myself running to someone that is bigger than me. Someone who loves me. That’s where the real peace can be found.