Peaceful Discomfort

A few days ago, there was a moment when almost every person in my home was yelling, crying, or whining.   I also played the part of an emotional, melting child. That episode was not peaceful because I had the wrong tactic – I just wanted to make all the noise to go away.

The day before that, I was wrestling an alligator (okay, changing a diaper, but that kid is strong!), strategically navigating some fighting in the living room on my way to help the two year-old, when I stepped in a fresh pile of…”Daddy I pooped.”  Yes, I discovered that.  Is this really the best time for potty training?  I may have blocked out the rest of the chaos, but the point is that I didn’t scream or punch any walls.

What was the difference between those two days?  On the first, I can only say my attitude was to embrace a peace that would guide me through whatever came my way.  I won’t recount how many times I have failed or achieved this goal.  But this got me thinking…

Life is full of struggle, sadness, pain, and discomfort in every sphere.  We often drag through our days looking for moments to unwind – a favorite show, a smoke, a little gossip, a strong drink, maybe just a peak at Facebook – to distract our brains from everything else in life. 

Peace vs. Comfort

We’re looking for comfort but it doesn’t satisfy because what we really need is peace.  We confuse them, but they are not the same.  True peace continues amidst undesirable circumstances. 

Comfort is on the surface; peace is deep.  Comfort flees under pressure, peace abides in the face of disaster.  Comfort is physical, peace is spiritual.  Comfort is selfish; peace is evangelical. 

It’s natural to remove pain and uncomfortable circumstances, but doing so will not bring peace.  Comfort is a lack of pain, but peace is a positive presence.  Discovering this can help us maintain peace in any circumstance.  Ultimately, peace comes from the presence of Christ and applying his Gospel to your life. 

 harrowing-of-hades

Peace can even define your life of back pain, broken relationships, death of a dear friend, or an uncertain future.  Why? Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, descended into hell and harrowed it of its relentless death-grip on our lives.  He entered the heart of pain to bring healing and light.  He created a new standard for hellish moments: abiding peace.  For he is now in control, if we allow him to be.

How can we find peace in disasters, big or small? 

We can take a breath, sleep, and live our daily (even chaotic) lives when we know that we are ultimately not in control.  God is with me.  And that is enough.  Take a moment to consciously choose to allow peace to reign in your heart.  This will give you strength today, for you now draw from an eternal well.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   -Philippians 4:4-7

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