Friday, September 25, 2015

At Peace

I often turn to writing when I am struggling with some large question or frustration, but when the tide turns and I am at peace, I don’t feel quite the same need to put my thoughts to paper. For those whose interaction with me rarely goes beyond these posts (I think mostly of my family and friends who live at a distance), it may seem like I live in a constant state of angst.

Today I wanted to share with you that, finally, the dawn has broken on what feels like a terribly long period of struggle. I cannot logically explain how or why (I could wager some theories, but they would be mere supposition). but as I am going about my day I realize: I. Am. At. Peace.

The brilliant beauty of blue skies punctuated by white clouds and sunshine peeking through bright green leaves no longer carries the weight of a day I should enjoy but cannot. Where there has been a lingering sense of despair and apathy there is now a sense of stillness and content. It is like a switch flipped and all the lights came on.

The breeze and warm sun on my face remind me of the eternal presence that gently holds and sustains me in all things.

The day before me is an exciting opportunity rather than something to endure until I can steal a moment to lie down to rest.

These seasons are part of living for me. Seasons of beauty and purpose and seasons of stirring and discontent. It is easy to trust the joyful seasons … to see God working in the purpose and intention. What is harder is to recognize, accept, and trust is that God is also working in the difficult seasons, the times when I wander in the desert, not knowing my ultimate destination or how long it will go on. Even though my every need is still provided, I think there is something I must “do” to move myself out of the desert into the next stage.

But as God walked with the Israelites through their desert wandering, it was not their “doing” that led to the Promised Land. Every time they attempted to use what they knew to relive their distress – turning to idol worship and pagan rituals – they prolonged their suffering. It was only in forsaking their own ability to save themselves that they were ultimately delivered.

And so it is with me. God’s saving grace does not come in my seeking perfection or my striving. It does not come in the moments when I am trying to do my best. It is not my knowledge or my right actions that save me.

Wen all else fails and I have surrendered to my complete inability to fill my own cup or to be any more than the empty shell in need of saving, God can lift the veil and fill me with the peace of his saving grace. 

And that, is a miracle.