I was sitting in group tonight, caught up in my everyday life. The stressful day I had with my job. The things I needed to do at home. Worrying about my kids and the issues they have in their lives. Wondering what kind of mood my wife would be in when I got home, hoping for a relaxing and peaceful night. Peaceful. To be at peace. What does that mean? There are multiple definitions. I kind of like this one courtesy of Miriam-Websters: a state of serenity or tranquility. Ok, I am not aware of that state. I am most certainly not at peace.
So God has this great way of continuing to reinforce the lessons He has for me. Like this one. About peace. And that I am not familiar with that state. Just as I am thinking about peace and my lack of it and how I am sure I am the only one who isn’t at peace, another guy in our group says that he is afraid to be at peace. He never has been and in anxious just thinking about being at peace. Yeah, exactly. Not worrying makes me….worried!
Romans 5:1 says that since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we can have peace. 1 Peter 3 says that we are to seek peace and pursue it. In John 14, Jesus told us He was leaving his peace with us. The great writer C.S. Lewis said that God could not give us happiness and peace apart from himself. Yet…I am not comfortable with the idea of being at peace. I don’t know how to be at peace.
So then another guy said something that really solidified it for me. He said that he had been a Christian since he was 15 but he was just now grasping it, what it actually meant to be a Christian. He had been living in God’s grace but not pursuing righteousness. He hadn’t really been living out his faith. I had to just stop and meditate on that and how it applied or didn’t apply to me. It does. Apply to me, I mean. Stay with me.
When I did Step 3 and turned over my life and my will to the care of God, I chose to turn over my thoughts and actions to Him. What I haven’t done is really pursue His righteousness. I have been trying to live out the steps, to follow them, to use them as my path of sanctification. However, I hadn’t really consciously pursued God’s righteousness, to seek to become more like Him in how I live my life.
So what does that have to do with peace and being at peace? According to His word I can have peace because I have been made right in His sight by faith. Not only can I have it, I am supposed to PURSUE it. Really truly seek it out and aspire to leave at peace. That is a little different than where I am at the moment, not at peace. So, this is something I aspire to, to be at peace. At least some of the time. And peace for me means a state of serenity and tranquility. I like that goal. God, grant me peace.