Peace vs. Happiness

I know that look. I've seen it all too many times over the past couple of years. Deep-set eyes hidden even deeper under the furrowed brow. Jaw clenched, mouth set into a straight line. It's the "Honey, I've got bad news," look.

No matter how many times I see it, and no matter how many times things turn out alright in the end (although getting to 'the end' has often been difficult and painful), my heart stops for a moment and I forget to breathe for a bit.

So when the boys and I came home to that look a few days ago, my initial reaction wasn't at all unexpected. I ranted a bit about the unfairness of the situation and my perceptions of the factors that find us in the spot to begin with.

That's the human reaction. It's always the first kind. But when I get beyond the initial processing, there is always a place--maybe very deeply inside, but there nonetheless--where confidence in the Lord takes over. It's the place that can sing "it is well with my soul" even when it's not well with my circumstances.

And that's the difference between living in peace or happiness. At least for me, happiness is a superficial state dependent on circumstances, but peace can exist at the core despite them.

The "bad news" of this particular occasion could have really far-reaching effects. I'm so not on board with that. But at the same time, I know that God has never failed us, even in (all too frequent) times of similar stress in the past. I'd appreciate your prayers for peace in the midst of the uncertainty.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee." Isaiah 26:3


Tammy said...

these were words that my heart needed to hear. I can relate. I will be praying for you.


I have this verse Isaiah 26:3 written on a splattered 3x5 card just over my kitchen sink. It is in the KJV [same version] as yours. It was given to me by a pastor's wife when my husband was in hospice care. God turned his life around for 124 more days of miracle after miracle and we dismissed hospice all together. My friend said that because of what God was doing we needed this verse becasue she was praying for our own RADICAL TRUST of our God to intervene - and THAT He DID!!!

I praise Him - even though eventually He took my husband to glory - but He had told me to "preapare for Bob's healing and his home going" and that's just what I did and God followed through with His end but in a beautiful and miraculous way - bringing glory to His Name all the way to heaven!!!

So all that to say - Jesus was a radical - everything He asked of people - to leave everything behind and TRUST and FOLLOW HIM - that was radical.

Our TRUST must be a RADICAL TRUST - like this verse portrays!

You wrote:
"I know that God has never failed us,..."

That was and IS my theme in life - that God is FAITHFUL in all His ways! TRUST THAT!

Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - the One I worship]

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Where confidence in the Lord takes over...

Now that will preach. It's also a very peaceful way to live.

Thinking of you today.


Melinda said...

I've seen that look twice in the last 24 hours! Nothing that's "end of the world" status, but setbacks, nonetheless. And yet, there is peace.

Certainly, the difference between walking with Christ and just, well, walking.

Hugs to you this day,

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