Saturday, June 06, 2009
How can I get peace in my life?
The world in which we live - both our public world and our private world - is riddled with tension and conflict. It seems the issues that cause us worry have been around for many years and are likely to be around for many more, never to go away or become superannuated. In the midst of all this chaos, how can I get any peace in my life?
Consider this: When two people are in conflict, peace can most effectively be brought about when one party surrenders to the will of the other.
I seem to live in a constant power struggle. You see, I have an insatiable need to be right, and to be in control of my circumstances. There are times that the situation at hand is obviously bigger than my abilities and wisdom. The result does not match the picture that I at first had set out to create. I feel powerless, and my sense of peace is lost. If I give up my autonomy - my "Mary-Do" mindset - and share the load, then the bigger tasks could still have the end result I originally envisioned, and I could still maintain at least some sense of control.
But even when I share the struggle, I can still put a limit on what God can do to intervene in my life. The struggle becomes one between God and me. If I can handle, delegate or manage every detail, then where is the room for God? I know what I want the outcome to look like, and I won't let anything change that image in my mind.
God tells me in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." But, my plans are also for good and not disaster ... I mean, it doesn't make sense if I plan something for a deliberate failure, right?
Foolishness! "Do not be impressed with your own wisdom" (Proverbs 3:7). God has had a plan for me for thousands of years, and has been the "Master Planner" for waaaayyy longer than that! I think I could stand to learn a thing or two about God's plans, especially the ones that pertain to me.
But if I decide to scrap my plan and follow God's plan for me, leaving me with no back-up, no safety net, isn't that risky? If I cannot be in control, then what?
Really. Look at what I have. It's nothing. Nothing more than "temporary kingdoms on foundations made of sand." It can all be lost in less than an instant. Now look at what God is offering by following His plans. "Plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." God has proven time and again to me that He is faithful in keeping His promises. If I compare the two, I want what God's offering. And it only comes from following His plan.
When we surrender to God's plans for us and live freely, animated an motivated by God's Spirit, He will bring gifts into our lives (peace being one of them) in abundance, much the same way fruit appears in an orchard.
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayer, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry in the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)
at 8:00 PM