Sometimes I find myself involved in a situation about which I simply cannot find peace. Something will be genuinely wrong: someone will be doing myself or someone I care about harm, or someone with power will in some egregious way be abusing that power, or … something will be happening that no one would be okay with. And so I’ll be having a lot of emotional turmoil about that situation or dynamic.
About most stuff I can reason or feel my way into emotional clarity—with most conditions or situations I can make a pretty solid peace by just sort of … relaxing around it. I usually just open myself to God’s perspective on the troubling situation at hand, and then I sort of … know how to feel or think about it
But sometimes that just doesn’t work. Sometimes I can’t move into a place where the thing I’m dealing with is okay. That’s when I know I’ve really got a real problem on my hands. I can look at it from the top, the bottom, from either side, from beneath it—and no matter how I look at it, it still looks bad.
And that’s when I ask God for his peace. Even though I know there’s no way to be with that situation and still have peace, I ask God to bring me his peace. In effect—well, not in effect, in reality—I’m asking for a miracle. I know there’s no way for me to feel okay with whatever’s going on; I know it can’t be okay. By the time I’m at the place where all I can do is pray for God’s peace, an idiot would be able to see that I’m involved in a problem that would have Buddha whining and ulcerating.
And whenever I ask for God’s peace, like that it’s there. Almost instantly my anxiety about the situation is replaced by that expanded, deep, indescribably … peaceful state God puts you in when he’s decided to grant you a little taste of what heaven must be like.
And he never fails to grant me that peace when I ask him for it. I don’t think he ever fails to bring that peace to anyone who asks for it.
So what I meant was that when you pray for God’s peace, even though you know you’re dealing with a situation that factually, really, quantifiably cannot be resolved—a situation where you know that what you’ve got is the equivalent of two plus two equaling four, and the four is the part that’s killing you—God, and only God, can turn that four into a five. Or a six. Or two million six hundred thousand and eight.
Just by asking him to do it, God can make more out of the situation you’re struggling with than you would have ever dreamed was possible before he performed that miracle.
I go to a church where, about half way through the service, everyone turns to those around them, shakes hands, and says, “Peace of the Lord.” In the course of my daily life, I never say anything to anyone that I mean more than that.