Walking through hard seasons of life is familiar ground for all of us. If we are honest, we could all point to a “hard” that seems to be peaking around the corner these days, waiting to pounce. And if we are really honest, the “I’m good” answer to the every day well-meaning “how are you?” question is just the first defense of many walls that we’ve firmly built in our hearts. I mean, who wants to be (dare I say it) vulnerable?
However, I believe when we enter valleys of “hard” we have the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and more about God than any other seasons in life. While we would wiggle our noses to make our problems go away if possible, there are also opportunities to lean deeper into the “hard”. Pushing and poking into those places that hurt or feel unsafe is a scary, but necessary thing to do, which is another topic for another time because today all I can think about is peace.
When googled, peace is defined as “freedom from disturbance; tranquility” and the example given is “he just wanted to drink a few beers in peace”. And it makes sense, because the world tells us that being able to shut out the world and withdraw into your own form of coping is peace. Make the kids stop needing, the dog stop barking, the boss stop demanding, the spouse become more willing, the bills to stop coming, and for sure make the heartaches cease…then you will have freedom from disturbance and be able to experience tranquility.
But what happens when you wake up tomorrow and the kids are needy, the dog is barking, the boss is demanding, the spouse isn’t willing, the bills are piling up, and the heartache that just won’t go away is heavy? Because tomorrow is going to come, and reality is hard.
What we want as humans is peace. A deep-down soul peace.
In hard seasons.
In good seasons.
When we are in the valley.
When we are on the mountaintop.
So we seek and we seek. We seek peace in other people who just disappoint us and break our hearts because they are just like we are; broken souls searching for peace. We seek for peace in entertainment, social media, movies, partying; because our cultural has developed so much technology that our brains are addicted. We seek peace in our own choice of substance. Drugs, alcohol, sex, thrills, money…but it’s not there.
It’s never there.
It’s not in the other person.
It’s not in the numbing of watching that show.
It’s not in that drink.
So we become desperate and sink a little deeper into those coping things. We cling a little tighter, switch social media platforms to maintain our interest, or up the consumption of our addiction. Our minds become cloudy, and the enemy gets comfortable in the playing with of our minds. The lies become truths, the confusion swirls, our hearts grow bitter.
And we see it.
We know it.
We try to “try”.
Yet all we are doing is seeking the one thing our soul needs: peace. We strive and seek to do all the things we know of just to grab hold of it, or even to have a tiny moment of complete calm and tranquility that seeps into the marrow of our souls.
Yet, like water through our hands, we can’t hold it. It just flows through. And the broken vessels of our souls become eroded with all the false things we keep shoving in there and the erosion causes the cracks to get bigger and bigger until we are empty.
Peace can’t be held or worked for. And Peace doesn’t come in people or mindless entertainment or substances. There is nothing that our souls need more than Peace. There is nothing that will fill those holes.
What we must KNOW is that Peace has a name, and His name is Jesus.
I am not talking about religion or going to church. I am not talking about completing a check list of things. I am not talking about trying in all your might to be “good”.
I am talking about Jesus.
Walking and talking and knowing Him in a deep and meaningful way. Being vulnerable with Him. Not pretending or tiptoeing. Just being you.
Jesus already knows you, but opening yourself up to Him, helps YOU really know you. Allowing Jesus to really love you, helps YOU to really love you.
And when you love yourself, you can love others in ways that will blow your mind. And allowing God’s peace to fill you will become cement in those cracks of your soul. Then His living water will begin to create such an overflow of peace that it will surpass all of your comprehension.
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
His peace is a peace that surpasses all comprehension.
His peace will never disappoint us or leave us or forsake us; because He will never disappoint us or leave us or forsake us.
That is what your soul yearns for.