Chasing Peace

It’s been a while.

Life has been a little hectic the last month. Came home from Grandma’s, prepped for my studio, went on vacation, moved into my new studio, and held a Grand Opening. Minor details.

But really. It’s been amazing. I keep pinching myself. Is this really happening? Um yup.

This morning I decided to get away from the hustle and bustle. I wanted to get some time to slow down and take some deep breaths. It’s really important for me to take time for myself and get time to breath and reflect. Otherwise, I hit the grind and don’t slow down. Then I hit a wall and get burnt out. Doesn’t matter how much I love what I’m doing, this time by myself is essential and it allows me to get alone with God and remember my source.

As I was reading this morning, I spent some time in this devotional talking about peace. This is HUGE for me. I think some of it stems from my anxiety, but also just getting caught up in life. I’ve always struggled with this. When we moved to Miami, the first 3 years this idea of peace was the biggest thing I struggled with. I was constantly wrestling with why here? Why this? Why that? Why? Why? Why?

As I was reading, the author mentioned 5 key things that pull us away from peace. Sudden fear, the enemy, sin, giving up peace, and losing focus.

It’s funny. I almost always attribute fear to my anxiety or lack of peace. But today hit me a little differently. He mentioned “peace and rebellion cannot co-exist.” Okay, I know this and I’ve heard this, but today it hit me a little differently. Obviously fear gets in the way a lot. Though, I was thinking of a story from the Bible. Jonah. If you don’t know, it’s this story of a man who was called by God to go share about God to an intense group of people called the Ninevites. Well Jonah was a little terrified, and thought he’d probably die, so he climbed in a boat and went a different direction. Then a storm happened at sea and he was thrown overboard to end up being eaten by a giant fish. He remained in the fish for several days then was spit up on land. He clearly had disobeyed God and rebelled. With that came some consequences and I’m sure while he was sitting in the stomach of a big fish he was not at peace.

As I think of this story, I think of myself. For so long I felt this call, a call to run and to do my own business venture. But I was TERRIFIED. I kept thinking surely God would not want me to do that. So I kept running in other directions. I ran to other gyms, I ran to hospital jobs, coffee shops, and guess what-none of them turned out well and I was NEVER at peace. NEVER. The first 3 years here in Miami I kept running from God’s call on my life. Completely rebelling. I don’t love using the word sin often, it often just carries this awful connotation, but it’s still a real thing. I was sinning. I was running away from the call I clearly heard. Yes, it was out of fear, but just because I was afraid it doesn’t justify my mistakes.

I think I always assumed peace came with stability and ease. It’s one of those things that comes with just being a good person. But as I dive into scripture and life, I realize a lot of peace comes from following whole-heartedly after God and the person he’s created you to be.

Our culture throws so many ideals and wants in our faces, but God has call us all individually to follow after him and each path looks a little different. And guess what? That path isn’t always the easy and comfortable, but it is one of peace. Being in God’s will provides a peace we can’t ever create. There’s this sense of purpose and comfort in knowing we are on God’s path for our own life. It’s easy to run after so many things, but you know when you are in God’s hands.

I started this business totally terrified-I still am. But there is something so natural about it. Same with running. It scares me, but it feels so right. It doesn’t come with stability and comfort most days, but it comes with a peace of knowing I’m in God’s will. In the end, following after God will always win. It isn’t always easy and pretty, but it is always good.

As I have wrestled so deeply with peace, I pray you fall in God’s arms. Rest in his presence. Know that even if it’s scary, if it’s from Him, it will be good. Don’t cave to your circumstances, but run straight to him knowing he is the giver of life and your source peace.

Jo ButlerComment