January 02, 2012

when the peace of God rules

While in my heart I know the peace of God,  in my workplace I have noticed a lack of peace. It is sad that my reminder of the riches I have in Christ is often the dearth of the same in the lives others. The contrast is striking. I spend hours with them every week day, and notice that God's peace in my heart is unlike any they know. 

I hear one in particular often fretting:
  • She goes to bed in the winter checking the forecast and worrying about the drive to work.
  • She drives to work worrying about potential mechanical problems in her vehicle.
  • She gets to work and she worries about me, if I'm walking to work ("There have been too many pedestrian deaths this winter") or worries about coworkers if they show up late (concerned that they might be in a car accident).

We might agree that she is a bit of an extreme example. But I hear their other concerns:
  • health concerns (one illness after another)
  • housing concerns ("Will we find a place to rent that is affordable?")
  • money concerns ("I wish I had chosen a career that paid better, so I could retire sooner.")
There's always something. So, they have conversations about their struggles that lead to no great conclusions. They buy lottery tickets with the hope (which even they acknowledge is unlikely) of winning big...as if that would make life easier. In an attempt at positivity, sometimes they say, "I am sure it will all work out fine." But this is just wishful thinking built on no sure foundation. Inside, I see that there's a fuss.

But what a fuss it must be, if you realize that ultimately, you are alone.

Oh, some of them have "significant others" in their lives, but these are boyfriends with no signed commitment to stay with them in sickness or in health. When in a vulnerable stage like pregnancy, they don't know if their man will really stick around, or for how long. Ultimately, there is no human who can ever be there for them in every circumstance, so they are alone. Though I have no boyfriend or husband, I am more secure and well cared for than they are. 

They may have parents much closer geographically than mine, but my Heavenly Father is incomparably better. He is always with me, providing, guiding, and being my companion.

Admittedly, my peace is falsely placed, sometimes, in financial margin, good health, human relationships or reasonable rent. Some of the things that have led to my supposed security have simply been wise choices made by my parents or me, instructed by Scripture, like hard work, integrity and fiscal responsibility.

But at the deepest level, I know my peace springs from these truths: My Creator is also my Saviour and Provider. He is good. I can search out the promises of Scripture and find that He will always care for me like a kind Shepherd. What is a car problem, illness or an empty bank account to Him? Watchman Nee, who lived a more difficult life than most, wrote, "God knows what He is doing and there is nothing accidental in the life of the believer. Nothing but good can come to those who are wholly His."

The God of the Scriptures gives peace on the deepest level. The peace purchased at the cross was not just peace with God in a judicial sense, declaring me righteous and fit for Heaven, but peace in an everyday sense. Colossians 3:15 speaks of the peace of God ruling or arbitrating in our hearts. His peace guards my heart and my mind (Phil. 4:7). Entering 2012, may we make these our goals: to allow His peace to arbitrate in our hearts, and to testify of His peace, available to all.

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