It was family time and we were at the lake fishing with the boys. Dean’s eyes were on his pole, mine were on the lake, and the boys were all over the place. It was peaceful and quiet except for the sudden shouts of glee as the boys skipped rocks and jumped from one boulder to the other.
I wasn’t thinking about much; probably lost in deep thought about what we were going to have for dinner or why my dog Oliver just jumped into freezing cold lake water. But sometimes my boys have a way of jolting me out of my infrequent moments of peace.
I heard my middle yell, “Mama! Take a pic of this!”
Before I could turn around with my phone, I looked up at a massive mountain of boulder and saw my son on the edge. But he wasn’t just standing on the edge. He had his feet in the air as he put all of his weight on his hands.
One false move and he could have plunged to the ground head first.
My heart stopped and I yelled at my boy. I didn’t just yell, I lectured, stomped and vowed to climb the rock and beat his butt.
He didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. “Mama, I was only messing around.” He didn’t get it. Doesn’t he have a sense of fear? Why do I have to tell him doing a handstand on a boulder twenty feet in the air is insensible?
“You need a healthy fear, Weston. That means you make wise judgment about what you’re about to do and the possible consequence the danger imposes.” He still didn’t get it. And as a mom, that’s the part that worries me the most.
No Peace with Irrational Fear
There is a difference between rational and irrational fears. There are times when we’re afraid of things that keep us from living life. They can even keep us from climbing boulders and take away our ability to be carefree.
That’s no way to live.
I’ve had plenty of irrational fears in my lifetime. I’m afraid to fly in airplanes for fear of dying in a plane crash. Irrational fears take our eyes off of facts and cause us to focus on “what if” only. In reality, plane crashes aren’t very common. I know the statistics. Do you know how many times people have told me I’m more likely to die in an automobile accident than a plane crash? Yet, for some reason I would rather drive than fly.
That doesn’t make sense. Then again, irrational fears never make sense. But the fear is real.
In the word of God, we see we are to fear nothing. God says He didn’t give us a spirit of fear. That means God is not the source of any fear we experience. Irrational fear is a strategy of the enemy. He strikes fear in us so that we stop living our life and fulfilling our purpose.
Peace and Rational Fear
I don’t really like to use the words irrational and rational when talking about fear. Instead, I think we should call it healthy fear. Healthy fear doesn’t always come naturally. There are some people who are more risky or dangerous than others.
Some people like to live on the edge and push the limits. But healthy fear creates boundaries that keep us from going over the edge. Proverbs 27:12 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
Prudent means we show care for the future. We are able to live beyond the moment and plan for the future. We use wise judgment so we don’t suffer the consequences of living in the moment.
Irrational fear causes us to be stuck in the moment. We don’t think about the future because we are paralyzed by our own thoughts and incapable of living life beyond our current state.
No Peace Without God
So many people are on a quest for peace. I don’t blame them. We live in a world where all news is bad news, unless you watch to the very end and they finally mention something about cute animals. But all the breaking news and headlines will strike fear without a moments notice.
God never promised us life would be easy or steady. Actually, Jesus warned that in this world we would have trouble. But He finished that verse with a promise … “Take heart. For I have overcome the world.”
Peace isn’t about becoming one with nature or clearing your mind. It’s not about thinking happy thoughts or going to the happiest place on earth. Those things may bring momentary diversions of anxious thoughts, but not lasting peace.
Phil 4:7 says, “The peace of God that passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” That’s the kind of peace that doesn’t make sense. It’s the kind of peace that anchors us when the ground shakes beneath our feat or the whirlwind of chaos spins out of control. We can’t explain why we’re not shaken, but we’re not.
Jehovah Shalom … the God of Peace
Peace is found in God because He is peace. He is the author or peace and His name is peace. He offers the kind of peace that makes us lie down and our sleep is sweet. Have you ever tried to lie down and rest but sleep never comes? True rest means we are at peace in our soul.
The only way to ever find true peace is to know the God of peace. The only way to ever experience the peace that passes all understanding is to put your trust in the God who understands all your ways.
The challenge to you today is to find peace and rest in God. Stop trying to find peace in any other source because there is no rest anywhere else. God is the only one who can offer what we need in times of uncertainty.
My podcast episode this week has changed. I want to encourage you to find peace in the only one who can anchor you when things seem out of control. If you’d like to listen to this week’s episode titled, “How to find peace in times of uncertainty”, click here.
I also have a free one day devotional for you titled “The Secret Place”. It’s about finding God’s protection in times of uncertainty and it’s centered around my favorite Psalm, Psalm 91.
I pray you find peace and rest in the only one who brings a peace that doesn’t make sense in a time we need it most.