This past weekend, my husband Pat had to teach a course in New Jersey. We thought by leaving around 1 p.m. from Alexandria, Virginia on Friday afternoon, we should easily make it in time for the 6 p.m.
course. We knew there would be some weekend traffic so we planned accordingly. We figured the two and half hour trip might take four hours and we should still make it by the 6 p.m. start time, but that was not the case. We experiencedtraffic ALL the way to New Jersey. No matter what lane he was in, Pat did not make any headway. We both battled with being agitated by the long drive and frustrated by the lack of progress.
It became apparent after three hours inour travels; we would not make it in time. It ended up taking us almost six hours to reach our destination and ultimately the class was cancelled that evening because of it. Our journey could have been much more enjoyable had we chose to pursue peace and not focus on the challenges along the way.
All of us at one time or another will experience frustration and aggravation in our life’s pursuits. Maybe it means waiting patiently on the timing of our dreams to be fulfilledor our secret petitions to be answered. Whatever situation we find ourselves in our journey in life, God wants us to stop allowing ourselves to be agitated and disturb along the way. These feelings of frustration won’t change our circumstances or cause the outcome to come to pass more quickly.
Peace I leave with you: My [own] peace I now give…to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]—John 14:27 AMPC
When we stop allowing ourselves to be agitated and disturbed, we permit God’s peace that passes all understanding, to calm us in every circumstance and give us courage and strength for every challenge.
We have the responsibility to not to be pulled in different directions or be concerned about the outcome. When we give God our concerns, we allow His peace to keep our thoughts and our hearts quiet even in the midst of frustrating times. We are then able to trust that He will cause everything to work together for good (see Romans 8:28).
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.—Philippians 4:6-7 MSG
There will be traffic jams that will delay our journey and accidents that will tempt us to go no further and quit. We won't stay in peace for long if we're not doing much to pursue it. It is up to us to not allow our hearts to be agitated and fearful (see 1 Peter 3:11).
Enjoy the journey and remain peaceful even when you feeltroubled and afraid.
Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!—Psalm 34:14 AMPC