Truth comes at you like the peeling of an onion. It pulls apart to reveal more and more layers. My peace with God has come the same way, over time. My experience has been in agreement with the Word: (1) He is all-powerful, and (2) He is good. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD…let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth (Jer 9:24).
So nothing happens to me that is outside of His control. And everything is woven together as His amazing, bigger-than-me, better-than-my-own plan. I can have peace when:
- I want to be the boss, but I am not (calling all control freaks)
- circumstances and/or people seem to conspire against me
- I fail (drawn to perfectionism?)
- others fail me
- I feel (or really am) picked on
- (insert your own cross to bear here)
When you are hurt/disappointed/discouraged/fearful and you need Him most, where do you look for help? Do you sit, drenched in anxiety or anger, fighting your internal or external battles alone? Like these: for although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21). You don’t have to live there.
Here’s how I find any peace that I have, by remembering: my beef is always with Him.
That means when your day doesn’t go “according to plan”, your beef is with Him: The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Prov 16:9). When others prosper and you do not, your beef is with Him…[God says] “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:15). When your treatment by someone else “just isn’t fair”, your beef is with Him. Therefore let those who suffer, according to God’s will, entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good (1 Peter 4:19). And the list goes on…
Here’s where this understanding intersects with my marriage – if I trust in God’s power and His goodness, then:
- I trust the LORD to protect my heart when I feel vulnerable during a disagreement.
- I trust LORD to provide my husband with wisdom from Him, rather than from me.
- I trust LORD to make the path straight for our family, even when things look all crooked, and don’t line up with my plan.
- I trust LORD enough to follow the one He has chosen to lead our family.
Old habits die hard (more about that next time); but every time my pride or anxiety gets the better of me, there’s one sure way to get back on the right path. When I turn into Miss Cranky-Pants, I need only remember that my beef is with Him (and with His plan for me), rather than with anyone or anything else. Then I know that my feelings are misleading me. And I remember that I have no need to fight or fear anyone because, whatever the situation, I can trust in Him and His plan.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm
He will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.