Does God’s Will Always Feel Like Peace?
I wish we’d stop measuring the will of God based on peace.
When faced with a big decision, we ask each other: Do you have peace about it? Where’s the peace? Do you feel at peace about that decision?
We think that wherever the peace goes, we should go too.
But lately I’m wondering if peace is actually the foolproof compass we imagine it to be.
If you read through the Bible, most of the people in the stories had really scary assignments: Go someplace you’ve never been, fight a giant, give birth to God’s child, die on a cross.
Nothing about these assignments screams peace to me—at least not peace in the way we usually think of it.
When I think of the word peace, I think of a hot shower on a cold morning, a fluffy bed at the end of a long day, or a hug from my dad.
And for some people, the will of God may feel like that.
But for me, that kind of peace has led me astray every single time.
I have felt peace about decisions that were really, truly, wrong for me. I was praying about it, I was seeking the Lord’s guidance, but I still had total peace that I should marry him…and him…and him—red flags or not.
If you feel peace when the Lord is leading you somewhere…good for you. Enjoy being wrinkle-free for the rest of your life.
I, on the other hand, am going to have a face like a Shar Pei from all of the times I’ve been asked to do things that scare me to death.
No Road Signs
I have yet to see the name of a man in the sky, or a gigantic road sign saying, “Hey, Stephanie May… move to Georgia and work for a missions organization.” Although it’s probably a good idea that God doesn’t work that way. If he did, I would probably think he was talking to the other Stephanie May that was considering a move to Georgia in the name of missions.
I don’t hear a voice from above, and no matter how hard I beg and plead, God rarely gives me the kind of confirmation I’m looking for.
But along with a major lack of signage when God is leading me somewhere, I also have a distinct lack of peace.
I cry like a baby in the face of life change. All of the positive possibilities fade away and all I can see are the unknowns and the shiny options I’m leaving behind.
I’ve learned to trick myself into big decisions—signing up with a down payment months in advance—committing to something I know I’ll be afraid of later. I spend the next several months crying and throwing temper tantrums, but at least it’s too late to change my mind.
But on the other side of those fear-filled decisions have come the sweetest parts of my life. That first mission trip, the chance to study abroad, quitting the conventional career, going back to it years later, have all been the most terrifying, best decisions of my life.
If we’re doing life the way that Jesus did, then peace might be the wrong thing to pray for. Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow him—to lose our lives so we can gain them.
I don’t know about you, but losing my life sounds like a terrible thing. It sounds like ditching all of my efforts at planning something good for the itty-bitty hope that God could whip up something better.
I think that’s why they call it a leap of faith, because it feels like a leap. The fear, the unknown, having no idea what’s waiting for you at the bottom, your heart feeling like it’s going to come out of your throat, and the acute knowledge that you’re screwed if God doesn’t show up…that sounds like a leap to me.
God’s people have done some crazy things through the years. They’ve conquered kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, and died for the things they knew were good and right.
They were crazy, radical, by-the-skin-of-their-teeth and by-the-grace-of-God kind of people.
But God tells us not to be afraid. He tells us to be strong and courageous, to trust him, to have faith and not to doubt because with the kind of life we’re going to live with him, we’re going to need that advice. And it’s scary, but it is always good.
Every single time it’s been better than I ever could have asked for or imagined.
Every single time God gets to look at me and say, “Stephanie, this is why following me is ANYTHING but boring.”
I want that kind of life. I want to be living proof that God caught me every single time I found the courage to jump.
Where are you looking for peace in your life? What would it take for you to jump?
- Noreen Nix just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Mother Confronts Young Daughter’s Alleged Bully With violence.
- Caitlin Wilson published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments with Sharron K. Cosby | Red Light Rendezvous.
- Amy Lathrop published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments with Sharron K. Cosby | Red Light Rendezvous.
- Adam Smith published the blogpost The Simple Things in Life – Tiny House Living – Vincent Russell.
- Courtney Rowland published the blogpost Creamy Parmesan Leek and Mushroom Pasta #SundaySupper.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost “Real Women Leading” iPad Mini Giveaway and “Leading with Values” Facebook Party 3/20!.
- Kelly Pigott published the blogpost Ashes, Tattoos, the Sign of the Cross, and my Friend Connie.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Be thou removed: Prayer of a man they called “Consecrated Cobbler.
- George Krickl published the blogpost Poor in Spirit: Paul and Barnabas Discipleship Continued.
- Jennifer Collins just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Doris SwiftOur greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” ― D.L. Moody
- Doris SwiftEmerge from ordinary into extraordinary; rise above, set apart, walking in the plan as He directs the steps...
- Doris SwiftIf you're feeling stuck in your writing journey~remember, every new idea-every word written propels you forward
- Jon StallingsIf we focus our prayers just on Jesus delivering us from the trials of life, we have set up our own life as an idol
- Melcome Feldspar just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Leon Bloder published the blogpost Shouldn't All Christians Be Universalists At Heart?.
- Jennifer Alayo-AguilarI am so excited to be here. This is something new that I have never tried before. I am glad to be alive to witness this, a blog post check-out site for Christians around the country, the world to connect with one another. The mini-neighborhood is pretty good. Say prayers for me, my husband, and the rest of our family as we get our lives back together and get on the right track with Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Livestream Simply Youth Ministry Conference be a part of it!.
- George BullardMarch 8th: Transform Congregations By Radical Missional Engagement #365SSIFTC http://bullardjournal.blogs.com/bullardjournal_microblog/2014/03/march-8th-transform-congregations-by-radical-missional-engagement-365ssiftc.html
- Jennifer Alayo-Aguilar just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Greg Winfield published the blogpost The Blessing of Struggle – Do You Know What You’re Made of?.
- Stephanie L Burr just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 10 Reasons Why Youth Ministry Is A Strategic Career Choice.
- Evan Nehring published the blogpost Announcement: Life Sentence Publishing Partnership.
- Matthew Tan published the blogpost "Justice, Unity & the Hidden Christ": Review in Ethika Politika.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost The Top 10 Leadership Posts I Read The Week Of March 3rd.
- Nathan Wheeler published the blogpost Prayer, a beautiful mistake: Atheism For Lent Part 1.
- Allen O'Brien published the blogpost Mark Driscoll’s Publishing Tactics Trigger A Golden Age For Christian Publishing.
- Brad Russell published the article FaithVillage Expands Church Partnerships with 10 New Features.
- GREG WHITAKER just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost How To Supercharge Your Productivity With Evernote.