Where’s My Peace?

I’m struggling. No other words for it. Somewhere in between overemotional and a mess is where I’ve been at today…and yesterday…and the last month. Most nights I find myself lying awake waiting for peace, for comfort, for stilling of emotions, for a change of my feelings. But I haven’t found peace. I haven’t found any of the emotions I wish I felt. I haven’t found comfort. I haven’t felt complete trust. I just feel drained. Depleted. Almost empty. All. The. Time.

But tonight, after feeling depleted for so long, I’m here in a place of desperation for Jesus. So drained, so tired, so fragile. And I need peace. And so I’m laying it all down. Giving up control, because I can’t do it.

For the longest time I’ve struggled with finding contentment, finding joy, finding good in situations and seasons that don’t seem like any good. I react very negatively to feelings of out-of-control-ness, and it’s pretty much overtaking me right now. I have to go back to college in less than a month and I’m not okay with it, I’m not at peace with it. I wish I could be. But leaving comfort whether in the form of a place or people has never been an easy task in my life. I love feeling safe and secure, but this is not in my control and it’s scary to me. And sin is at fault. I let myself be dragged down by newness and change and discomfort, convincing myself in the whole process that it’s always going to be negative, and it’s always going to hurt. 

But I took a step away from my lack of comfort and let myself be comforted by Jesus today for the first time in a long time. The way that I’ve been needing but not allowing myself. And in doing so, He revealed all the good that has come from that same discomfort. I gained new friends, and I built up relationships with old friends, found the friends that really love me and care for me. I became a better leader, a better listener, a better friend, a better witness, a better follower of Christ in my discomfort. And isn’t that alone worth it? To follow Jesus better? It should be.

With Jesus, despite my control problem, despite my lack of peace, He offers all that He is freely. While I was grasping for a sense of peace from nowhere, Jesus had been here the whole time. One of my favorite things about Jesus is that He never leaves us, and there’s no amount of distance you feel from Him too far, no hurdle to jump too high, no struggle you’re facing too much, that can separate us from the goodness and the grace of Christ.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord {Romans 8:38-39}

However, I need to say that demanding control distances us from Jesus. I’ve been witnessing this. It proves our lack of perfection, our lack of faithfulness. My need to control is showing my lack of trust in who Jesus is, His love for me, and His ability to provide. And without Jesus, the sin of our mistrust and need to have control, would separate us from Him. We need Jesus, we need Him not only because He can provide for us in every way but because He is the only reason we don’t have to be separated from God.

So no matter how much distance I feel from Him, or how many times I feel lack of trust in His goodness or His faithfulness, He doesn’t change. And that’s how I know that peace can only be found in Him. True, complete peace can’t be seen anywhere else but in the selfless, everlasting love of Christ. Because He cares about it all, unrest, lack of peace, or trust, or faith. But we need to depend on His ability to give us peace regardless of the situation or season, rather than choosing to look for total peace in what we can provide and control without Jesus. Because I’ll give you a hint, there’s not much peace to be found there. Jesus is the holder of peace and comfort and rest. Accept it.

Often in my faith walk, I have this mindset that automatically I’ll get peace from God if I’m doing His will for me, but I don’t think that’s always the case. Because so many times, growth and peace with Christ come from those times of discomfort, pain, and mourning. In these times of lasting unrest in my situation, I begin to ask the question, “where’s the peace I was promised?” It feels like I should have peace when I love Jesus and do what I think He desires of me right? But rather, Jesus uses waiting, He uses struggle. He uses our unrest in this world to prove to us His greater peace, a peace we can’t have on our own. Supernatural peace comes from our supernatural God, and that’s what we should be seeking, peace despite circumstances, supernatural peace. And that right there is nothing I can accomplish on my own, I need Jesus.

It’s disheartening now to look at my disbelief and distrust and how it was never even about Jesus, it was me. I was the one who thought I could be in control, that I could change any course of events, even Jesus’s path for my life, thinking I could find the peace I’ve been needing on my own. All along knowing what peace and grace He could give me and knowing how much better it is when Jesus is the one in control. We’re stuck in pride and selfishness and sin. We need to lay it down and let the focus not be on us but on the saving grace and peace of our Lord.

We need to be seeking out peace for our situation, our feelings, our relationships, our placement, with time in prayer with Jesus. We can’t expect to receive what we haven’t pleaded for in prayer. Pray pray pray pray pray for the peace you’re needing, the rewards are indescribable.

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. {Psalm 29:11}

With Jesus we have all the strength we need to go on. All the strength and peace we need to be okay with whatever we’re facing. Jesus offers it all, find freedom in His peace, in the way He comforts, and in the unchangingness of His nature.

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