Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC
"Now may the lord of peace himself give
you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
Peace — it is one of the best things about following Jesus. At times, I have learned to trust it for guidance in ways that make no sense to those around me. Its invisible power is beyond mystery yet it has protected me in ways I cannot humanly explain.
Life has so many decisions that are hard and tenuous. I don’t always know the right answer, but peace gives me answers to the unknown. In every decision the simplest of questions can bring clarity… “Do I have peace about it?” Whatever “it” is, if there is no peace and no rest in my soul, there’s my answer to flee from it. It doesn’t matter if the answer seems crazy, peace can be trusted.
There are times, however, when peace is elusive. It’s like it goes into hiding and no matter how hard I search it evades me. Had I never known peace this might be ok, but to have had it touch the depths of my soul, only for it to hide… is painful, almost like a betrayal.
Why would such a beautiful companion leave me?
1 Corinthians 14:33 tells us, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…”
It is comforting to know when life and its decisions are swirling about in a tangle of confusion in my brain, that this is not from God. Still, this knowledge seems to be of little help when peace goes into hiding.
So you don’t think this is theoretical spouting of Scripture and ideas upon weary souls, let me honestly say, today peace is hiding from me. With everything in me I am looking for it but as of yet, to no avail. So I search. Where did it go and why is it so elusive?
All I know to do is keep asking Jesus to give it to me and believe he will in his perfect time.
Sitting here typing, I can’t help but speculate maybe it’s hiding right now to help me grow deeper in levels of trust with God.
One of my favorite devotional books paints a beautiful picture of this. “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman, June 13 writes…
“Two painters were once asked to paint a picture illustrating his own idea of rest. The first chose for his scene a quiet, lonely lake, nestled among mountains far away. The second, using swift, broad strokes on his canvas, painted a thundering waterfall. Beneath the falls grew a fragile birch tree, bending over the foam. On its branches, nearly wet with the spray from the falls, sat a robin on its nest.
The first painting was simply a picture of stagnation and inactivity. The second, however, depicted rest.”
Peace and rest are very similar things. As I read L.B. Cowman’s words, the little robin is what I desire to be. To sit amid the chaos, even when it’s spraying up on me, and to be at peace, at rest on the inside, is my heart’s desire. This kind of internal peace, however, comes at a price and is born out of trust. Maybe, at least for me right now, peace’s hiding is challenging me to exercise my trust in Jesus so the peace for which I long for is more deeply rooted.
Even now in this moment, I feel this exercise of trust taking deeper root and bringing peace out of hiding.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself
give you peace
at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
Everything in me wanted to lie on the couch and watch mindless TV tonight. Peace was hiding. However, there was a stirring in my soul to trust that even amid my “blah” feelings, God would bring the words.
Oh, how I hope they are what you needed.
Life and its chaos are still raging around me, but right now in this moment, none of that matters. My soul is at rest and the peace I’ve been searching so hard for came to find me instead.
“The Lord of peace himself gave me peace.”
For Your Reflection…
What part does peace play in your spiritual journey? Do you trust it and seek it out? How might God be using this moment when peace is hiding to draw you closer to him?
Consider this thought… What if you stopped looking for peace and let it find you?