Peace that passes understanding, ah, the thought. I know that phrase well, it is one you hear a lot in christian circles. I think it might be one of those we say when we don't really know what to say. When life is hard, when it doesn't make sense, when we really can't even find God...
"Just pray for peace beyond understanding."
There isn't a thing wrong with this prayer, or with saying it, but I wonder....do we get it? I have only recently started to get it. I've always understood the concept of peace, but not how to keep hold of it even in the storms. Lets be honest, it is easy to "feel" peace when all is well. It's when the ground gets shaky that peace seems elusive. Peace has always reminded me of a beautiful beach. The white sand, the blue water, it's so...peaceful. In a moment though, a wave can come crashing in and ruin the entire scene. I guess I see it this way because peace has always seemed volatile to me, like it is impossible to keep. Today, in my devotional the correlation was made between the peace and the understanding and a big light bulb went off in my head.
I am one who loves to understand. I don't want to walk through the dark or walk blindly. I want see everything laid out before me so I can understand the plan, what's coming. I think, if we are all a little honest, we will admit this is part of our human nature.
We want to master understanding.
Eve ate the fruit so she could "know," right? The slithering snake convinced her if she would just eat, she would...know more. I am very much an Eve. The fruit hangs there on the tree and it is always so very tempting.
Walk in faith?
These things can only come once I know, or so I think. The light bulb went off in my mind because I realize for the first time ever that having peace in every circumstance means letting go of my need to know. It's not that the peace itself is beyond understanding, it's that I have peace even when I don't understand. I can not master understanding of every detail of what is coming. I can only faithfully follow the voice of the one who does understand all things, who sees all things,
who knows all things.
I'll be honest, I am very tired today. I ache from being on my feet so much and my voice is even a little horse from all the teaching. The first two days of school were fun, but a lot. My little kindergarten is still excited to learn and my third grade wants to do this forever so I know we are on the right track. :) Truly though, this is a moment when I need peace. I am tempted to be overwhelmed, to see no light at the end of the tunnel. I am tempted to spend hours and hours trying to gain the most knowledge I can so that this schooling thing will be easier. I hear that voice though, still...small...
"Let me be the master."
He is the master of my day. He is the master of my knowledge. I don't need to understand every detail. I only need to face today and trust him to provide the knowledge I need for today. Indeed, I can have peace even when I don't understand. I have this little intuition that peace and trust go hand in hand.
When God whispers to us a task, he provides what we need to see it through.
Either I believe that, or I don't. When I stop believing that he is the master, when I stop believing that he sees it all and knows it all, that is when peace slips through my fingers like water hitting the ground. Here's what's great. If peace is tied to trust than to have it all I need to do is stop, remember him, and believe.
Everything with him always comes back to simply believing.
Indeed, peace that passes my understanding is believable. All I need is to trust the master, the one with every detail planned out. I cannot plot out peace in my life, I cannot gain it with understanding. I can only find it by trusting my God. Today, we will crack open our books, discover something new, and when I don't really know...
I will stop and remember...
that he is trustworthy and faithful. He will provide. He is my peace...
He is my peace.