- "If THAT happens, I can't handle it! I'll fall apart!"
How often have those words or similar words been in your thoughts or on your tongue?!
Don't WE always seem to think that if WE could order our lives, we'd know just what should happen, just how things should work out? And they never do, do they? Sooner or later something happens that would never have been in OUR game plan in a million years.
Many people around us would say to us "You won't have peace unless you win, unless you force that situation to go as you plan it to go. You won't have peace unless you get that person to agree with you. If this person doesn't listen to reason, cut them out of your life."
We all know situations where families have broken apart because people couldn't agree or wouldn't agree, or wouldn't accept a member because he or she "wouldn't listen to reason" - someone else's idea of "reason."
We all know workplaces where employer and employees don't see eye to eye and keep up a running battle.
Inner peace always seems just out of reach because the multiple stresses in our lives just keep on happening.
David, greatest King of the Jews, was constantly on the run from his enemies before he became King. He sang to God in Psalm 143 "For Your Name's sake, Lord, give me life; in Your justice, lead me out of distress."
In his final meal with His friends, Jesus, Who already knew that He was facing death and that His disciples weren't ready for what was about to happen, says some wise, parting words to them: " The Holy Spirit that the Father will send in My Name - He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."
King David and Jesus - who came from David's family line - knew that only trust in God, surrender to God, can give us inner peace, that peace which is inner abundant life. And, moment to moment, as we make the choice to tell God that we trust Him, the Spirit of God reminds us that God is trustworthy and that we should live by His commands to love - love His people, love the world of Nature He created for us. Because He the Creator lives in all people and within Nature. All bear the mark of His loving Hand.
As long as our egos are in charge of our lives instead of God, we will never have real peace - because WE want life on our terms, WE want to win. WE want everything to be ours!
If we live in the Spirit of peaceful love, we can truly listen to someone else and together decide on the right thing to do. If we live in the Spirit of peaceful love, we can accept another's choices, even if they are not what we would choose for them. If we live in the Spirit of peaceful Love, we can stand up for what is right without hatefully insulting those who do not understand, do not care. And we can be at peace inside because we have done the right thing that God has asked us to do, and He will use the good deeds we give Him for His purposes.
If we trust God, we allow Him to guide the Universe - and our lives. We trust that He brings good out of everything that happens to everyone because He loves us without measure.
I remember saying to a priest friend "If my son Peter dies, I won't be able to handle it, I'll fall apart."
He said "Wait and see what happens. Trust that God gives us the strength we need when we need it."
He was right. My son died. I fell apart from day to day, I died inside day to day. But day to day my broken pieces have slowly come back together. I didn't totally die. All because of God's abundant, abiding grace. He still has work for me to do here.
In our distresses, we die many little deaths during our lives so that we learn to depend on Him more and more readily. More and more deeply. We die many little deaths to prepare us for placing ourselves into His hands with our final breaths.
In everlasting life, united as a unique member of the Body of Christ with all people, all creation, we will see how every personal distress, every war, every catastrophe, has been used by God, Who brings good out of evil. God, Perfect Love, holds all together, fits everyone and everything together to bring perfect Balance to the Universe. Living eternal life with Him as part of His New Creation, we will find total Peace, total Love, total Joy.