A while back a friend came to me at a group function and pulled me aside. She was going through a hard season and with discouragement written all over her face she whispered, “Where is that peace the Bible talks about, the kind that surpasses our understanding? I‘ve honestly never felt it.” With tears welling up in her eyes she continued, “As a Christian isn’t that supposed to be part of the package?”
I felt her pain. I did. I knew what she meant. But I also knew what it meant to have that incomprehensible peace. I’ve been in both places.
Jesus tells us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
The world promises us peace with money, possessions, health and safety. Jesus promises peace in spite of the lack of these.
I told my friend I’ve felt that peace she desired. It’s a soft pillow to lay your head upon when your pallet is a bed of nails. This kind of peace doesn’t take away the pain of a situation, however, it gives us the strength to endure the unendurable. It’s always there for us but it takes work to keep.
Jesus explains this In John 15:4 when he says, “Remain in me as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
The word remain implies action. Jesus is talking about our relationship with Him. It takes effort or action on our part to keep this relationship close by intentionally making time for Him —praying, studying His Word, sitting still and listening for the Spirit’s voice and guidance. When we remain in this posture daily this peace in question will naturally envelope us like a warm blanket when we need it most.
But distractions so easily lure us away. At least that’s my struggle. The rush of the day, time restraints, the pull of social media. There are days when I exchange my intimate exchange with God for a quicker “God on the go” version.
I need to often remind myself, God doesn’t need me, Missy, I’m the one who needs Him! When God feels far away it isn’t because He’s left the building. I have. Jesus graciously offers an open door to us every hour of every day to meet with Him, sit in is presence and soak up His wisdom and grace.
The peace that surpasses understanding is not automatic. We have to engage it by engaging the One who gives it. As we abide with Jesus, over time we start taking on His attributes and one of these is, peace. Not like the world gives but the kind that only the Creator of the world can give.
Christy is an award winning writer, national speaker, wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandma! She is passionate about helping women devote a closer relationship with God by seeing Him at work in their lives. When Christy isn’t with family, speaking or writing, you can find her on the tennis court chasing a fuzzy yellow ball. You can connect with Christy on her blog, Joying in the Journey, Facebook, and Twitter.