Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Crushed and without peace

I've been crazy busy lately. You probably have too. I think it's something in the water.

It's so easy to get engrossed by the day to day pace of life. We focus on our unending list of tasks, responsibilities, deadlines and projects. We are consumed by all of our "stuff" that we hardly ever have time to think, plan, focus, or dream.

While this happens, we feel that we're suffering. We become bitter, short tempered and hostile. We have a hard time extending grace to others because we start to pity ourselves and think they can't understand what we're going through.

What we need is some peace.

But so often, we think that "peace" has something to do with the amount of stuff we do. We equate "less busy" with peace. And those two have nothing in common.

Peace is something so much deeper than a lack of tasks. It's a clarity, a drive and a vision that comes from God and surrounds us while we wade through the crap of our lives.

It's some sort of rest that has absolutely nothing to do with our level of busyness.

New Testament authors have a lot to say about peace. About this rest.

Jesus says in Matt 11 for us to come to him, all of us who are weary and burdened, and he will give us rest. Hebrews 4 talks in great length about the new sabbath-rest for the people of God, which has nothing to do with any particular day of the week. And Philippians 4 claims there is a way for the peace of God (this peace that transcends all understanding) to guard both our hearts and our minds.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Phi 4:6)

I'm trying to not worry. And to pray about everything. To tell God what I need. To go to Jesus with it when I feel weary and burdened.

If I'm honest, most times it doesn't make me feel any better.

I'd love to say "this always works," or maybe "this is the key, this is the secret!!" or something like that...and then ask for you to donate money.

But it doesn't.

And I think that if you've been stressed to the point of breaking, you know it. Sometimes, it just feels like God doesn't come through.

I don't feel less stressed. I don't feel the peace, the rest. Instead I feel betrayed. Betrayed and bitter that I REALLY need that peace, that rest, that grace from God. And I just. Don't. Feel it.

Sometimes you look at the circumstances and you just feel that God is piling it on even more.

Maybe it has something to do with where your focus is. Maybe the peace & rest doesn't come because we're still focusing on the tasks, the projects, the "stuff" instead of on Jesus behind it all.

I don't really know.

Have you had that experience? Where you know you need that peace, and God usually comes through...but for some reason, he's not this time?

How does that work out for you?