24 May Peace in the Chaos
Peace. It seems to be a word often thrown around yet rarely sought after or attained. What is peace anyway?
I mean honestly, when thinking of the word, I have a hard time forming a definition. According to Oxford dictionary, peace is defined as, “Freedom from disturbance; tranquility,” yet in a culture that pushes productivity, competition, and maintaining a busy schedule, that definition seems to be but a distant idea. I can only speak for myself, but not too many of my days are free from disturbance or tranquil in nature. In fact, most days I run late, forget something important behind, get thrown off by an unforeseen circumstance, or simply deal with the little, daily frustrations of life that inevitably occur.
I’ve noticed there’s a constant promise of “peace” coming from politicians, religion, and society in general. The word peace may or may not be directly used, but it’s the faint whisper that if I have this, do that, meet them, go there, leave here, be more, do more, or just get that next thing, then, at last, I will be satisfied. I will be content. And most importantly, I will be at peace. I have traveled that road, and from my experience, the promises of this world are empty and unreliable. In my opinion, peace as humanly defined is almost impossible to achieve or maintain for any significant amount of time. Life is often unpredictable, so then is finding peace ever possible?
“I can only speak for myself, but not too many of my days are free from disturbance or tranquil in nature.”
The last several years of my life have been characterized by change, unforeseen challenges, and days that leave me completely uncertain about what comes next. Family issues, strained relationships, sickness, death, career disappointments, money problems, instability, comparison, and plenty of other elements I’ve faced have left me feeling anything but the world’s definition of peaceful. However, in the midst of the chaos, I have discovered a different peace, one that transcends human understanding and cannot be defined by literary terms. It’s a peace that is found only in knowing the Prince of Peace, Jesus. The irony is that the world tells me a million different ways to find peace by my own effort, yet the peace of Christ is found in HIS effort, not my own. Peace is not necessarily freedom from disturbance but rather clinging to Jesus during every disturbance. He is the definition. I’ve learned that He sees me, hears me, knows my anxious thoughts, and meets me in my place of need.
“However, in the midst of the chaos, I have discovered a different peace, one that transcends human understanding and cannot be defined by literary terms.”
If anyone had reason to worry it was the apostle Paul, yet in Philippians 4:6-7 he tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” I cling to these words daily, reminding myself to lay my worries at the feet of Jesus and take hold of His promise of peace. I can honestly say that it is because of Christ alone that in the midst of chaos it is possible for me to experience true peace. There are days that overwhelm me, but He continues to lovingly walk me through difficult seasons, working on my behalf, reminding me to take refuge in Him. I have sought after the peace the world promises, and I have experienced the peace of Christ. The first is insufficient and temporary at best, the second is a shelter to my soul.
Walker is a 20-something in the process of exploring what comes after college. She’s a night owl which makes morning coffee her close companion, and likes to think of sugar as an essential food group. Walker attends our Powdersville campus.