The other day the news reported a two-year-old child had fallen into a deep well while on a picnic with his parents. Against all odds the community was frantically working to rescue this little boy. Bliss turns to sorrow.
Friendships once close, now covered with ugly bitterness and sharp words spewed by unbridled tongues. Disease, war, famine, divorce, drugs, terrorists’ attacks and what could only be described as pure evil fill news reports daily. God’s Eden has become a glorious ruin because sin has entered the world. Since that event mankind has been plagued with pain and suffering of all kinds.
As we move through our personal journey, life often finds us lonely in a community of restless others. Each one constantly searching for security and peace. This lonely search is the result of sin. It is the disease of sin that yields the fruit of our sins.
For many, the search for peace in this fallen world has a wrong focus. The world preaches that wholeness comes with fame, wealth and/or controlling power. These avenues, according to the world will quench the thirst for peace and satisfy our hunger for security. They will not.
You and I were not given the gift of life so we could become absorbed and preoccupied with self. It is also not our role to be “good deed doers” like the Tin-man in Oz.’ Doing good things is not bad but, if that’s all there is then one must agree with Solomon when he said: “If this is all there is to life, then it truly is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
Returning to the place of, ‘In the beginning,’ one sees that God in His masterful plan made man unique within all of Creation. While He spoke all other life into existence, with man He lovingly formed us with His hands and with His breath breathed life into our lungs. We were created in their image. Only mankind has been given the supreme gift of life that is designed to be in a full and intimate relationship with God.
Without living our lives rightly aligned with God we are incomplete and destined to an endless search. We spend countless hours filling the void with more things, other people and new events, but these never fully satisfy. The hunger and thirst of our longings are present within us. Our stomachs remain empty and our throats are still dry. Where is peace and security to be found?
It is a true statement that the further we separate ourselves from God the harder we must work to hide our insecurities. Insecurity wears so many different masks and takes on so many different forms.
Some of our masks hide insecurity by appearing compliant and submissive. Other masks that we wear take on the appearance of being strong and in charge, even bossy. There are those that are controlled by the opinions of others, working diligently to gain the approval of every man. Some of the imposter’s masks are unable to admit fault and see everyone else as committing all the wrongs.
These various roles often lead to addictive behaviors in an attempt to either make things work perfectly or escape the realty of failure.
The Prince of the Lies offers the false hope that peace and security have their roots in this harsh world. Those that listen, remain on the path of sin living as a slave to insecurity, self-focus and pride.
Working to find peace and security in our own strength leads to a meaningless life. Moving further from God leads to emptiness. This is nothing new. To the people of his day, the prophet Jeremiah declared, “Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, we will not walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16).
Centuries ago St. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.” God has given you and I a precious gift. The gift is an eternal relationship with Him and a deep understanding that beyond this life there is indeed more.
God created you and I for His good pleasure. With His breath He sustains us so that we may enjoy intimacy with Him. It is because He loves that we can love. With each new day comes the wonderful opportunity to draw near to God and to walk with Him in His peace. It is in this reality where we find hope. It is only with God that we can find peace and live securly in the midst of the world’s uncertainties.
In His perfect love we find peace
28Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
When the darkness of this world causes you to lose your bearings, remember that Jesus is always with you. It is my prayer that you will press into Him and draw close. Jesus has promised: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, produced by God’s work in us. To have peace in Him is His will for us. God’s peace is love’s security.