There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”
I sang these words over and over, hoping that the repetition would procure me some peace. But I did not feel peace. My soul felt troubled, even terrified. Where is God in this mess? Where is God in this uncertainty?
I’m sure I sounded exactly like Jesus’ disciples when they were caught in a storm at sea. Jesus, undisturbed by the gale, was asleep on a pillow. The disciples woke Him saying, “Master, don’t you care if we perish?” Jesus got up and said to the sea, “Peace. Be still!” and the storm stopped and the sea was calm. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Jesus didn’t ask them this because they were afraid of the storm; it was because they questioned whether or not Jesus cared.1
And here I was with the exact same fears: Don’t You care, God? My peace, and sometimes even my faith, is so connected to whether or not things are going the way I want them to.
Here are some of my peace stealers:
- Loss—the compounding monster. I tend to live each new loss through the filter of all previous losses and feel past pain along with fresh pain.
- Surrender. Oh, the struggle when we know God’s will is in conflict with our own!
- Lack. When there’s something I need (or even want) that I don’t have, it’s hard to accept peace.
Maybe you can relate. In fact, I think it’s pretty obvious that these types of situations are times when peace isn’t expected, similar to how we would expect to be afraid in the middle of a big storm on a little boat tossing about on the sea. God doesn’t mind the scared response—He knows a storm is scary—but He says Jesus is in the boat with us, and we don’t need to question whether or not He cares.
Back to my troubled soul. I’d just lost a family member, suddenly and painfully. One of my kids was facing some serious health issues. Another one was facing some very challenging crossroads. Sometimes it all feels like too much, my peace slips away from me and, like the apostles, I question if God cares.
But of course, Jesus is with me in my boat, and He does care. I read that story again. I sang the lines of that beautiful hymn over and over, calling peace back to my soul, and it came.
- See Mark 4:35–40.