I was four weeks away from graduating from college. While most seniors were living up their last days of pre-real-world bliss, I was facing the hardest decision of my life so far. Internships, interviews, and job offers had collided in the best and worst of ways, and I had one week to make a decision that would affect the trajectory of my life.
I felt sick. Stuck. Stressed. Certain I would somehow make the wrong decision and ruin my future career forever.
Through it all, God refined my heart and revealed more of Himself to me. As I wrestled with the decision—and even more with how it might be perceived to others—He began to offer peace in its truest form. This peace transcended making the “right” or “wrong” decision and gave me the confidence to rest in Him. God was both kindly teaching me how to discern and grab ahold of peace and giving me grace in the process.
As humans, we’re naturally prone to worry and wonder about every decision and situation, especially the ones that have the potential to change life trajectories. Because of that, it’s often hard to experience true peace in the midst of those moments, even when we’ve gained clarity in our decisions. Intensity clouds intuition and security gives way to stress.
While I was struggling to feel total peace about anything, God was showing me what faith in uncertainty looked like. It can feel impossible to find peace when we’re in the middle of the chaos—the papers, the applications, the deadlines, the schedules, the commitments and relationships, and difficult neighbors. All things—even good things—can strip us of peace and burden us with pressure to make the “right” decisions.
It’s in those moments that we must rest in the truth that there is One who already took on all of our burdens and anxieties and stressors so we could live in harmony —with ourselves, with others, and with God: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
So when the stress creeps in and anxiety begins to stir softly in your soul, when there is disunity among your family and friction at work, when this world shows its true broken colors, remember that peace is ours for the taking. Completely unexplainable, totally attainable peace. A peace that overshadows and overcomes.
But really? Even in the darkest corners of humanity, in the most desperate of situations, in the scariest and loneliest of seasons?
Yes. We can say this confidently because God promises it and commands it, and He doesn’t offer anything He can’t give us or ask of us anything we can’t obtain through Him.
Even in times of confusion where there seems to be absolutely no good next step?
Yes, for, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” as we navigate those waters of confusion (Philippians 4:7).
Even in the prophecies of Christ’s coming, God’s people were given hope of a Peacemaker who would eventually come to save the world: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:6–7a, emphasis mine).
Not only does God promise peace, He urges us to live in it with others. He knows that living in peaceful unity and harmony is only for our good. Anything else is bound to result in heartache, hardship, and hardness of heart. In Ephesians, Paul urges believers to “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [they] have been called … eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). In Hebrews 12:14, we’re encouraged to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy” (NIV). Colossians rings the same bell: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called to one body” (3:15a).
Pray for peace—in the chaos and confusion, in difficult relationships—and He’ll pour it out with no reserve. All you have to do is “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8). That’s a promise.
So go in His peace, sister. Your life will change forever when you do.
Sarah Beth McCloud is passionate about healthy communication and facilitating messages that move us forward—personally, professionally, and spiritually. She and her husband Marshall live on the outskirts of Atlanta where she works as Manager of Communications for WinShape Foundation. When she’s not writing, she much prefers being outdoors. She loves reading (surprise!), spinning, cooking, and talking about the nitty-gritty details of the Bible over a (very) strong cup of coffee.