Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the challenge of peace

"Do you think that's just a way to make life easy?" she asked. I had never really considered it that way before, and had I been asked by someone else, I may have been offended. There was something sharp in her tone, but it wasn't contempt; it was more like a longing for understanding, an unsettledness.

She wanted answers to all the hard questions, the "what-about's" and "how-come's."

And she wanted to know how I reconcile all these within myself; unanswered questions, occasional doubts, personal struggles, true belief and acceptance, and difficulty understanding. "I do have those moments," I said, "And I think all believers do from time to time. When I struggle with understanding or am having a hard time accepting something, I pray for peace over it. I'm learning to accept I won't always understand."

"Peace?" she was nearly exasperated. That's when she asked if this so-called "peace" was really just an easy way of escaping life's toughest questions.

The truth is, peace requires daily surrender. It's so freely given, yet not easily accepted. It not only seems to go against our human nature, it clashes fiercely with the cultural climate of this Information Era where "knowledge" is power, science reins, truth is proved through measurable means, and morals are subjective. Praying for peace is acknowledging there are some things in life that are just beyond you're grasp.

Peace is a choice made over and over again. It's a gift from God, an answered prayer, and yes, it does make life easier.  But accepting this peace, living in it, surrendering to it and choosing it daily, may be one of the most difficult feats in life. Yet this peace transcends all things; the questions and doubts, the anxieties, even the ridicule you'll receive for openly admitting you're in need of it.

Life is hard. God wants you to have peace.
He's waiting to give it to you; that's the easy part.

Accepting it is the challenge.

"6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7