Peace is one thing we don’t have much of around my house. Such is the case when you are part of a foster family. There are always people in and out, I keep finding neighbor kids playing in my backyard, and someone has usually found something “creative” to do. I love it, but sometimes I find myself just craving peace.
My precious little sister understands my predicament. For my birthday, she gave me a sound machine so I can fall asleep to the sound of the ocean every night. It does my soul so much good since I’m a Southern Californian transplanted to the South and the beach is now a couple of hours away and I can’t get there as often as I’d like.
It is a little way I can infuse some peace and relaxation into my life. We all need to take time for this because if we keep giving and pouring ourselves into others, pretty soon we’ll have nothing left. We have to make sure we are feeding ourselves too.
Taking care of ourselves is the opposite of selfish. Jesus regularly made time to nourish His relationship with God the Father. God Himself has a need for community that is satisfied in the Trinity. It is completely Godly to meet our own needs. And by needs, please know that I really mean true needs and not the things we want so we believe that we “need” them. This profound difference has led many a person into a theological wilderness.
Peace is a universal need. It is rooted in security because we can’t have peace without first feeling secure.
Almost everyone is pursuing peace in some way, shape, or form. Just look at your Facebook feed and you’ll see what I mean. There are so many photos of people on vacation, status updates about graduations and achievements, and events that reveal what everyone values. If we are honest, most of us are chasing that next thing that will make us happy, provide security, and ultimately, peace.
We try to absorb peace from our surroundings. That is why we go on trips in search of some relaxation that we don’t think is possible at home. But, how many times to we come home exhausted, needing a vacation from the vacation.
Peace can’t really be absorbed. We can make a conscious decision to relax and recharge, but this will never actually provide us with the peace we crave. An anxious person at home is still an anxious person anywhere else.
There is a difference between this recharging and peace. Jesus wasn’t looking for peace when He left for some solitude. He already had it.
True peace can only come from the security of a relationship with Jesus, after all, we call Him the Prince of Peace. Peace is intrinsic.
We might be able to find a peaceful situation to recharge, but we are kidding ourselves if we think we can absorb this external situation into our souls.
This kind of peace allows us to walk through the chaos of life calmly and keep our focus on Christ. If we have really trusted Him and submit ourselves to His good, pleasing, and perfect will, then we can trust that everything that happens is part of His plan and is therefore going to be used for His good. We will radiate peace.
Believe me, it isn’t easy. Chronic illness has caused so much chaos in my life since I’m constantly in pain. There is no cure for what I have and very few ways for me to alleviate my symptoms yet, I still have to live and live with purpose. I can’t waste my life in worry and stress. While this is the situation with my chronic illness, the reality is this is how life is. There is pain, stress, loss, but there is also joy and we can have peace through Christ.
When I feel like I am running tired, and I believe most of us are, it makes me wonder how I’m doing with God and if I need to spend more time recharging with Him. Peace is a process. Just escaping doesn’t actually meet my needs. I can tune out things around me for a while, but I’ll come back just as spent if I don’t meet my own needs. It just gets worse since I’ve runaway from my responsibilities in the process.
Without peace, I couldn’t laugh at this.
Without peace, I would let worry get the best of me.
Without peace, we can’t walk in grace.
Honestly, this peace is the reason I’m able to do foster care. No matter what happens, I know God is in control and has a plan. I’ve learned that I need to continue to go to Him in pursuit of peace. He is my security. And every time I hear the waves on the sound machine from my sister, I remember that the God big enough to make them is big enough for me to trust in.
I hope you can find some ways to recharge with God today so you can radiate peace, especially as the world is running tired on this Monday morning.