Peace where there is no peace
Paul has experienced both sides of life. He has done this so often that it was actually too much. However, he also had too little, actually nothing: 12I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.
For many of us this sounds quite familiar. Especially about suffering hardship and having too little in many areas of our lives. Sometimes life bowls one curve ball after the other and then we wonder how long we’ll be able to bear it. Paul has experienced this too. Many days it was really hard going. But experience taught him a few big lessons: 11… I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.
Experience has taught Paul that sometimes it is not necessary to go up against everything and fight until the blood flows. Sometimes we’re expected to make peace with what we have to face and to live with it.
But I don’t think Paul is suggesting that we can’t dream. No, we may dream and hope and strive for more. We can reach for the stars, but sometimes we become so obsessed with our circumstances that it steals our energy.
It is wisdom to know when simply to accept. Wisdom shows us when to stay calm and when to push ahead. Paul understands this wisdom very well: 12… I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.
But we don’t always get it right like Paul does. As soon as things get a bit hard, we try finding a toy to throw out of the cot. We look at others who seem to have it all and then we want to know why we have it so hard. We get discouraged so soon.
O, I wish we could have the same attitude as Paul. Paul experienced enough of life’s ups and downs. As he looked back on his life he realised that it didn’t help much to stress. He realised that stress could not affect the problem. On the contrary! Stress drains your energy and exhausts you. It even shortens your life.
Experience taught Paul that even the situation in which he was at that moment would eventually work out. Yes, maybe not the way he thought it would. But when he looked back he could see how God used even those circumstances in which he found himself. Sometimes he had to learn something from the situation. Other times others would be affected and changed by it.
I do realise we have to become calmer about the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We must know and trust that God will make everything work out for good. We must have the wisdom to calmly and contentedly push ahead, and to know and trust that God will help us. Let’s use the energy that we normally use to fight, to rather align ourselves with God’s picture and in that way make a bigger difference in the world.
All the best!
In what circumstances do you find yourself that are hard for you?
What do the circumstances do to you?
Can you become calm about it?
Our God, I must confess that it’s not easy for me to accept things just like that. There are so many things about which I simply cannot find peace. Please give me wisdom to see the bigger picture. Amen