When I pull up to order a coffee at my local Starbucks I rarely have to pronounce my order. Before I can finish my sentence, the barista chimes in and finishes my request.
“One grande, blonde roast coffee – light cream.”
Every day. Every morning. It’s actually become somewhat of a joke among the employees.
I can’t help it; I’m a creature of habit. I like to do things a certain way and at a certain time. I don’t mind change; I just like to plan for it.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with change. As we prepare to relocate to Charlotte I’ve been planning – A LOT. Putting our house up for sale, transitioning things at my current job, packing, planning our move, etc.. etc..
I’ve done an extensive amount of planning, but the problem is – life doesn’t always go as planned. And life definitely didn’t go as planned this past weekend. We decided to make a short trip to Charlotte to look for apartments, but after a full day of touring places we had not found anything. We felt a little down, but I tried to stay optimistic as we went out for dinner. Unfortunately, my optimism didn’t last for long.
Shortly after eating our meal, Courtney became violently sick. We were hundreds of miles from home, looking to start our lives in a new city, and having to contemplate whether or not we should rush to the nearest hospital in Charlotte at 10PM. Peace was far from what I felt.
Thankfully, the pain subsided overnight – but the experience scarred me with anxiety. As I woke up the next morning the heaviness of the day before mounted itself upon my shoulders.
We eventually found an apartment and things started looking up, but it wasn’t until that evening that my heart finally reached a place of peace and rest. We decided to go to church and was mid-way through the worship experience. Despite the way I felt (worried & anxious) I lifted my hands in praise, and miraculously, the weight I had felt began to feel lighter.
The funny thing is, my life didn’t suddenly become void of difficulties and problems. I had just fixed my eyes on Jesus and His sufficiency. It was in that moment that I learned an important secret about peace.
I realized that peace isn’t about being comfortable or certain. It’s not about having all the answers or knowing what comes next. In fact, it’s entirely possible to have all kinds of problems, but still have peace.
I don’t know about you, but that’s good news! Whether it’s family issues, marital struggles, or financial mistakes – we all have our problems.
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to problems. He experienced persecution, ridicule, and even imprisonment. No matter what his problems became, though, he never lost sight of what brought him peace.
Even in the depths of Roman prison, Paul somehow found a way to bring praises to God and encounter peace in the worst of situations.
As we live life, we’re guaranteed to have problems. Guaranteed to be uncomfortable. Guaranteed to make mistakes. But, this doesn’t mean that we have to be the victim of our circumstances.
I’m learning that finding peace isn’t so much about fixing your problems as it is fixing your eyes on Jesus through your problems. It’s a position thing. With each new hurdle in life, we have to ask ourselves, “Am I positioning myself to experience His peace or only my problems?”
As we encounter difficult times our natural knee-jerk reaction is to push away at our problems. To run. To ignore. To suppress. To avoid.
We fool ourselves into believing that if we remove ourselves from our problems, then we will have peace. It doesn’t work that way, though.
Jesus promised that we’ll have problems in this world. But, He also promised that we’ll have peace – if we choose to find it in Him.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Despite the trouble you may be experiencing, despite the issues you’re dealing with, despite where you find yourself in life – stop waiting for peace to find you and start finding it.
If you think that peace will come to you by waiting for all of your problems to go away, then you may be waiting for a really, really long time.