Elusive Calm

elusive calm

“They don’t know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all.”

Romans 3:17-18

This is the conclusion to the passage that begins with “No one is righteous-not even one…all have turned away.” (v 10-12)

When we turn from You, it is not just You we leave behind, but all that You provide for those who follow, those who trust: wisdom, direction, unreserved joy, unshakeable peace.

And when we leave You behind, we do not know where to find it again. Take away the fear of You and all sorts of other fears rush in.

Peace is not to be found.

But if I choose to still those other fears and make You the highest, to regard You more than any other factor that seeks to direct my life, a great calm settles over all the frantic questions, all the persistent worries, all the silent dread.

Thoreau said this: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to their graves with the song…”

I think it’s because we don’t know where to find peace. I forget all the time. I grasp for it in all the wrong places.

Is it at the end of this to do list?

Is it past all the errands?

Is it waiting behind my next goal, my next step, my next project?

Is it just beyond my reach because something terrifying stands between us?

It is strangely elusive, especially when I am consumed with worry and most desperate for it.

But it is found in fearing You, in returning to this sacred place, these quiet halls, where I shut out the other noise and seek to hear one still, small voice. Where I shut out the other demands and remember that one thing is needed. Where I turn my eyes from all that threatens, all that warns I am sure to fail, and choose instead to see who You are and what You have done.

When I allow You to become bigger in my thinking than all the things that gnaw away at me inside, the ache and the racing thoughts and the torment of my heart stops and I am here. And so is peace. So is the calm.

I could not find my way to it by digging and analyzing and wrestling for answers to settle my problems. Peace is not found at the end of problems, but in the midst of them.

And that is why I often don’t know where to find it. Because it seems like a thing I can only have once THIS is out of the way. So I don’t look. I see peace as a hard-earned treasure I reach only at the end, not as the warrior who guards my heart all along the way.

“…Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 4:6-7

Peace is not something I have once I settle my heart, my mind. It is Your gift for hearts and minds that are unsure, unsettled, with unsolved problems and unresolved fears.

Peace is what You give when I say, “I’m deeply bothered and I don’t have answers for this, but I trust You , so please help me!”

We don’t know where to find peace because it’s not something we work our way to or fashion for ourselves; it is a gift that only comes from one source, and only when we have stopped trying to solve our own problems and come to Him for help.

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