(September 8, 2022) Mama Lava encourages us to be at peace, especially ‘unsettled peace’…
It’s September! For most people on this side of the globe, September means summer holidays have been taken, kids are back in school, routines have been implemented, and plans have been settled for the next several months. This can be a major transition… but often settles into cosy anticipation once it’s all arranged.
Is that how you’re feeling? To be honest, I feel something much deeper this year. I feel overwhelmed by unsettled peace. And I’ve come to view major transitions differently than expected… I’m actually delighted to be unsettled!
Delighted to be unsettled?
Yes, ‘unsettled peace’ sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Yet the two are coexisting easily in my heart! Here’s why…
I know that I know that I know that God is on the throne! He’s bigger than anything that would trouble me and in charge. Nothing gets by Him without His permission.
- I know He is with me.
- I know He is for me.
- I know that nothing can stand against me.
- I know this is unquestionably my peace!
Having peace in unsettled times
In Romans 8, Paul wrote about the Christian’s peace in unsettled times: ‘What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one.’
The apostle went to say, ‘Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?’ (Romans 8:31-35).
There is also the inescapable reality that I live in a fallen, sinful world… and the consequences of my own foolish actions, as well of those of people around and over me, are quickly becoming dire. But I reside where freedom reigns!
Sadly, many people around the world are in much greater pain. This is gravely unsettling. Jesus even warned about a time when unsettlement among believers: ‘At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…’ (Matthew 24:10-12).
Need prayer… of the right sort
I’ve been praying for all that is unsettled. That is,I started praying for the unsettling stuff to settle down. I dutifully asked God to settle things around the world. But in truth, I was mostly praying so I would feel settled.
It was R.C. Sproul who said, ‘Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us.’
And as I’ve been praying aright, I have noticed something unexpected. My unsettledness is not settling. Instead, I am delighting in the unsettling! I still want peace for every unsettling situation, but I am now thankful for the unsettled feeling I have about them. And why? God is changing me.
I am delighted to be unsettled for these three reasons…
1. The unsettled feeling which has settled over my heart keeps me on my knees
What started as a selfish wish for my heart to feel settled has evolved into an urgent concern for the realities which are unsettling.
And that unsettled feeling reminds me to get on my knees and ask God to intervene where only He can. I’m delighted to have that nudge to pray.
2. The unsettling circumstances contrast noticeably with all that is settled
I mean, so many things could be wrong but aren’t. Right?
There is so much to be thankful for!
3. The unsettledness decidedly settles my faith
There are things which are simply beyond my control. I don’t just let go of them and hope they work out okay. My prayers put them squarely in the hands of the One who is capable, powerful, and has a perfect purpose that is far beyond me.
And that settles my faith!
These three things don’t make the unsettled less unsettling, but they do give me reasons to be delighted. The unsettled feeling drives me to pray. It makes me grateful for all that is settled. And it causes me to decide daily that God is who He says He is.
Trusting in the Lord
In Isaiah 26:3 the prophet shared a great comforting truth about steadfastly relying on God: ‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.’
God’s Son, Jesus promised peace. I’m reminded of an old quote goes this way: No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.
In John 14:27, Jesus assured peace to all who believe in Him: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’
Since we all live in the same world, I’d be willing to bet your feelings, heading into September, are also deeper than simple cosy anticipation. Have you put your faith in Jesus, our author of perfect peace? And are you feeling unsettled about all that is happening around us?
Let’s join in prayer for resolutions to the countless circumstances which are unsettling. Let’s corporately thank God for all that is settled. And let’s renew our faith in the wisdom of the one in charge. Let’s be delighted to be unsettled and allow God to use us for His glory!
Like another quote? How about this next one by Mama Lava?…
- God said it.
- I trust Him.
- That settles it!
May you too live where freedom reigns!
Mama Lava believes in making the big world a bit smaller through connection. Believing that everybody deserves to be wrapped in maternal love when they need it, she regularly shares encouragements… telling life experiences from an unapologetically Christian viewpoint the way she sees it, just as a mother does. Link: Mama Lava’s Back Porch (A Dose of Maternal Love).