Question, how badly do we want to be at peace? I guess we should start off with the question first of what is peace? Or better yet, what does peace mean to you? For as long as I can remember peace meant love, happiness, and even a sense of inclusion depending on how you look at it. Growing up as a child, the coin phrase was always “peace in the middle east”. Of course, since I was born in 1983 and have seen little since I began watch news reports of the Middle East since 1988, I have come to realize that peace is a hard thing to grasp in that region. As I have gotten older, I have also realized how much the United States has contributed to the lack of peace in the area. But that is neither here or there.
Another question for you to ponder is this, what is peace in God? In other words, if you are willing to seek his face, what exactly are you seeking for? Is peace perhaps one of the many things you are looking to find within God? In our current lives, peace or peace of mind can be a hard thing to get. The more you get sucked into the modern-day life of the current state of affairs the sooner you need to find your limits. Why? Because everyone has a breaking point. Think of it like quicksand. The deeper you get dragged in, the harder it can be to pull out. And if you don’t have a branch or something to pull you out, you can be overwhelmed and it can feel suffocating.
We all need our place of peace. If I can, allow me to tell you a quick story of why. When I started my first semester of Seminary school, I chose to take on a full-time schedule, plus work full-time, plus go to the gym. Add a family to all of that and I think you can understand where I am going. I was trying to do everything at once while leaving my homework on the back end. The only problem with the homework was that the volume of homework I had was massive and oh by the way, I was also writing sermons. It was like I was in a pool of water and I didn’t know how to swim, like I was going to down. I had no peace, I didn’t have God. I was my shore, my raft, but I didn’t know how to reach because I was panicking while I was drowning.
That first year was rough on both me and my family. I felt anxiety at a high level, I could feel my body temperature rising and that was becoming a problem for me. I certainly didn’t wan prescription medication and then become addicted and I wasn’t communicating with anyone on the difficulties I was having because I was spending too much time living up to my own expectations. I wasn’t ready, I didn’t plan, and it felt like my entire world was crumbling apart. I wasn’t at peace with myself and I wasn’t at peace with God. I wasn’t at peace with God because I wasn’t connected and that was the main problem.
I had an unwilling and unrelenting peace to compromise. I didn’t want to sacrifice anything while at the same time I was unwilling to let go of anything but I was failing miserably at it all. And what was worse, I was compromising God. God wasn’t first which is why my situation was such a mess. If you go to Genesis 26:17-22 it says…
17 So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar,where he settled. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek,[a] because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.[b] 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth,[c]saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
To me, there was never a need to build several wells, everyone could’ve been happy with one. But clearly egos from the herders got in the way several different times. Think of yourself as Isaac and your overwhelming circumstances as the herders. Every time you tried adjust your tight schedule, you only make a bigger mess. In your mess, you need to find peace. Peace is such a huge thing and should be a priority in your life. If your life is as hectic as mine, you are going to have to compromise if not sacrifice. So, what did I do? I went from full-time to half-time in school, I reduced my workout days by one day. I get up earlier to complete task around my home and in turn I am also able to spend more time with my family. In the end, I am more at peace with myself and I am reconnected to God, therefore, I am at peace with God.
What I am trying to say is this, if God is your rock, your foundation, and your peace, then you should consult with God on how things fit into your life. You may very much be capable of doing the things of what you want to do, however, it’s the timing of it that could be bad which in turn could overwhelm your current state of affairs, which in turn will run you in a state of confusion and delusion and before you know it you will lose your connection to God. You will not be at peace. Stop trying to put a square block through a round hole, it will not work.
When one is at peace, one can be focused. When one is focused, one is connected to God. Isaac’s connection to God allowed him to be at peace with the situation regarding the herders. Whatever is giving your conflict in your world, learn to compromise. Just because you can’t get it all done now doesn’t mean you will never get it done. But understand taking on more than what you can bare can destroy who you are. So, be at peace, remain at peace, stay at peace, and peace with always with you.