Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Does Faith Look Like - Embracing Peace

Whatever You're doing, inside of me; 
It feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace.  (Sanctus Real)

That was one of my first thoughts this morning.  I wrote on Tuesday that the Lord is using our unstable situation about the move overseas to teach me more about maturing in faith.  You don't have to have some life-changing experience or broken-road testimony to be used by God.  All He asks is that you trust Him with your life, more than you trust your own ways and means.  Then, you grow and are shaped into the image of His son.

I used to not have a very compelling testimony.  It worked on some levels, but I didn't have the big WOW story to tell.  I'd like to think I do now, because I have a daughter who God healed of cancer.  But in reality, while that situation 2 years ago changed my view of faith forever - Sophia having cancer doesn't define how big my story is.

How big I let God be in my life defines how big my story is.

And how much peace I let Him give me defines my response to life.  I heard this on the radio yesterday:  God is completely flexible with the way we live out our faith because He is so inflexible about bringing His glory and full redemption to this world.  He works with our choices and unique situations to make that happen.

How God's peace comes to us is completely flexible because of the fact that we will find it when we seek Him.  It's just when and how we seek Him that determines how much we receive.  Nothing is more paramount to the proof of God living and working in the lives of believers than learning to embrace His version of peace.

Human version of peace is the absence of trial.  Humans equate peace with prosperity and a life free of drama.  We work for solutions to our problems and call it peace.  Yet God's concept of peace has nothing to do with our circumstances, our feelings or our solutions.  Peace is much more than a feeling.  It is unexplainable stillness in your gut.  It is a un-graspable calm of your mind in the middle of turmoil.  It is a quietness that often doesn't make any sense. 

It is a solid place of confidence and security when everything else is insecure.  I've only ever found peace when I really listen to Christ.  Whether that was when I was unsure about my marriage, my career, my daughter's survival or just the other day when fear overwhelmed me.  Real peace is given only to those who listen to Jesus. 

(Here me here - peace can only be given.  We can't buy peace, I've tried.  We can't shake peace out of a situation - I've tried.  We can't make a situation be peaceful by a force of will - I've tried.  Peace can only be received.)  

I see it so clearly in the story of one I identify with - Martha.  Typically known as the OCD sister of Lazarus from the Gospel of Luke; Jesus rebuked her when she loudly expressed her frustration about the lack of help in getting dinner on the table.  She scolded Christ and He set her straight. Martha didn't need help in her work, she needed peace.

Martha didn't need a solution, she needed Jesus.

When I feel like I need a solution to my problems, it is so clear that I really need Jesus.  I need to sit as His feet and tell Him about my situation.  We both know now I feel about it - but He gives me peace when I submit to hearing what He has to say.

It is no joke, this peace of God is real.  I've found it in terrible situations and when in the little things.  Gaining God's peace has nothing to do with the situation, but everything to do with letting more of Jesus into our lives.

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