I think we often view peace as the absence of conflict. We think of wars ending, quiet valleys, and humanity getting along with each other.
I have a verse in Job I go to when I am not at peace with God to remind me that God is to be trusted: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”. Whatever it is that God has planned for my life I am assured that it is for my good, not my comfort, and it will bring Him glory.
Last December we received a call that an infant girl needed a home. This was not the first time we had received a call like that. Two years prior just before Halloween we had been asked to bring a newborn home from the hospital. We loved her for seven weeks before sending her to live with another Foster Family just before Christmas.
Like the time before we said “yes”. Yes we would welcome a child into our home. As I fell on my knees in my bedroom I begged God, “Do not take this baby from me. I don’t think my heart can take much more pain.”
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Peace flooded over me and I knew that we would be all right. I assumed of course, hoped, that this peace meant that God was going to give me exactly what I wanted.
Over the next eleven months there were moments when I felt that God was going to do exactly what I wanted, that we would get to adopt her. Our Sweetie would be a Hamlin and our family complete.
There were other times too that it seemed that God wasn’t going to let us keep her, but I kept coming back to that first initial peace.
Then the call came. My dreams, my peace, was shattered. Our Sweetie was not meant to share our last name. Where was that peace I had felt?
I am hurt, confused, and angry with God. I want my happy ending. Where is my peace?
For a time I really questioned the validity of trusting God. It would be far less painful if I took my own fate in my hands and took what I wanted, not wait on God. Being a Christian hardly ever gets you what you want, what is the point?
He gave me a new vision of peace. Having peace with God, resting in God’s peace, is not the absence of conflict; it is a raging ocean. On the surface are my raw emotions, what my heart is feeling: hurt, pain, confusion, and anger. Down deep in the depths is the peace, the calm, which comes from understanding and remembering that God really does have everything under control.
My Mom reminded me of a verse in Mark that illustrates this: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
I have peace. Some days I really have to dive down deep to find it, but it is there. His peace reassures me that no matter what happens, that He is in control.