“I am at peace.”
When is the last time you said those words? A week ago? Last month? More than a year ago? Never?
I can’t recall many times when I have actually heard these words coming from the lips of another human being.
In my life, there have been times when I’ve experienced peace. Maybe it was about a decision I made or about finding comfort in my temporary circumstances, but genuine, complete, whole-life peace is something I am experiencing now for the very first time.
Striving Doesn’t Lead to Peace
My journey to finding peace started on the day I quit my job and decided to follow God on this journey to become… well, I’m not sure yet.
Now maybe to you, leaving the familiar and following God into the great unknown doesn’t sound like a very peaceful adventure. Let me assure you, I too do not find solace in the unknown, yet it has been the very turmoil and tension of not knowing where God is leading me that has brought me to this moment.
Over the past five and a half weeks, God has been breaking me, or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I have been breaking myself. If I’m honest, I’m the one who has been ramming my determined, hard-headed self against the unshakable and unyielding character of God. I’m the kind of person who tries to “figure it all out.” Are you? Are you the kind of person who claims to “find peace” in being prepared, making to-do lists, and planning for the future? Ditto.
These seem like great qualities to have, and in fact, our culture rewards individuals who are driven and forward thinking. I’m not saying these characteristics are intrinsically bad; the problem with these character qualities is when we strive to “out-plan” God. In the words of my sister-in-law, we are not the “boss of the applesauce.”
We Must Receive Peace
I came to the realization that God was asking me to “quit trying so hard,” and when I actually listened and decided to obey, I discovered something.
God is a much better boss than I could ever hope to be.
This past week, God showed me that the reason I struggle to have peace in my life is because I am guilty of the very same sin as the first man and woman—eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I have been seeking knowledge about the future, desiring to have a plan in place, and wanting to know all the intricate details about what God is preparing for my life. But last week, God reminded me that in the same way that He forbade certain knowledge from Adam and Eve, He also forbids that kind of knowledge from me. Not because He is holding out on me, but because He doesn’t want my mind to be overwhelmed.
God doesn’t want us to worry about or dwell on the future. We are only human. We cannot process or possess the knowledge of what God has planned. He is God. We are not.
My peace has come from recognizing and fully accepting my role and the work that I am called to do.
My work in this world is not striving to become a great writer. My role is not learning everything I can to become a better photographer. My identity is not planning out my future to turn my life as an artist into something meaningful.
My place in this world, and yours, is simply to Abide.
Trust, Live, Be free.
Seek God for His plan each day. Live in the present.
And simply, Be at peace.
“I am Yours, God. You are mine. This is what You’ve had in mind the whole time.”