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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)

TITLE: A Goal or a Gift?
By Jennifer Kulhanjian


Personal peace. Hmmmm. What a lofty goal. Is it possible? Is it even God-intended? Self-help articles abound on the pursuit of this elusive serenity. Articles abound on subjects such as organizing our lives, learning when to say “no”, how to be better daughters, mothers, wives, community members. We studiously examine ourselves in the light of these expectations----and even if we are living our lives for God, we can fall victim to our mantras “When I become competent in this task, then I can relax. I’ll have peace.” Healthcare, my occupation of choice, is deeply involved in the pursuit of health, balance, and peace. If you’ve really tried, and you can’t achieve peace, you can get a pill. Or a diet. Or a workout regimen.

So many religions focus on inner peace. So many leaders strive for the appearance of peace, balance. It seems the human desire (Pride) is to have others think we’ve attained perfection. And yet our best reference, the Bible, is full of stories about conflict! Not only conflict of spirit versus flesh, but conflict among people. And God is to be found amid the strivings as well as the blessings! Are we somehow failing when we do not feel peaceful? Just go to the Psalms and bathe in the answer. “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1 answers itself in verse 5), “But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” In so many passages, God has sanctioned trials in order to build strength in His servants, to accomplish great things! Some struggles can be severe beyond comprehension. There seems to be no peace at that moment. Yet,if we cry out to Him, even as Job did, we ultimately have blessing beyond expectation.

Ecclesiastes is a wonderful example of the human pursuit of peace, and in the course of his lifetime Solomon did not appear to find it. But he did find that our Heavenly Father is the only thing in life worth seeking. That our moments of peace are all authored by Him. And He’s who we turn to in our moments of fear, conflict, insecurity, exhaustion. When we are overwhelmed, we have a relationship with the Creator of the universe! The one who formed all that is, loves us individually.

This concept is hard to accept. That He tastes the tears that are shed in solitude. That He shares our pain. He walked among us and gave the ultimate gift so that we could approach Him in love and trust. And when we do, we remember He is the one in control, and we let go. Bliss. Those moments of peace are so bittersweet as we earthbound creatures are quickly distracted by ourselves, or others, or life. A perspective of morality, that this moment is all we truly have, can help us to focus on what tasks our dear Lord would have us accomplish. Then we truly can have the “Peace that passes understanding.” At least, until we fail again. And we know securely that we have His blessing to come to Him for sustenance and try yet again. "Pressing on."

God often uses weak vessels for His purposes. Chief among those foolish with their words, (if only I chose my spoken words with the care of those written!) God has allowed me to see a time or two, that He uses even me among people to draw them to Himself. I am humbled that He allows me to be His servant. He calls us children for a reason. Have you ever noticed that a child is never happier than when they think they’re “helping?” Perhaps this is why Jesus allows us to participate in His work. We can have joy in participation. Peace that we are doing His will. Personal peace. Found in the Person of Father, Son, and Spirit within us. Not an achievement. A blessing. A gift. Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg06/08/06
Meaningless is our life without Christ. Nicely done and good to see a book of the Old Testament used. :)
Sheila Arnott06/09/06
Your writing is very insightful. It's obvious you have a firm grasp on the Bible and all that is has to tell us. Thanks for reminding me that moments of peace are God's gift to us. Keep writing and may God continue to bless you!
Jan Ross06/11/06
Insightful and passionate! And, oh how I identify with what you said: "God often uses weak vessels for His purposes. Chief among those foolish with their words, (if only I chose my spoken words with the care of those written!)" Good job! :)