Beyond All Understanding
Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything, tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 4-8 (TLB)
Mikaela Horvath lives in California. As a recent college graduate, she was anxious about her future. She was uncertain about how best to teach her dance students, worried about family members' health issues, and overwhelmed by chores. She was in a bad mood.
On the drive to a nice lunch with her mom and brother, with hope that some nourishment might put her in a better frame of mind, she prayed repeatedly for God's peace. But she got frustrated when she couldn't seem to gain a feeling of inner tranquility.
Our definition of peace generally means complete contentedness along with the absence of troubles. It is how Mikaela feels at the beach, lying on the soft sand without a care in the world while the sun warms her body and a breeze gently cools it.
But then Mikaela remembered that God's peace is more than a feeling. As today's verse reminds us, God's peace goes beyond all human understanding. Even amid restlessness and anxiety about our lives and responsibilities, our faith promises God's presence, help and grace. God's peace is not confined to feelings. God extends peace to us even when - and especially when - we can't seem to find tranquility.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember that Your peace is present amid our anxieties and uncertainties, waiting for us to take hold of it. We only need to trust you, in Jesus' name, amen.