Change is hard for me. Even the changes we’ve planned for and been forewarned of, still shake my insides. Watching our world tilt this way and that, like we’re perched on one side of a seesaw, unsure if we’re ever fully up or fully down. If we’re lifted up, His strength on the other side of that wide, wooden plank is enough to make us feel like we’re elevated above the harshness around us. There is nothing more precious than being able to rest in the comfort and knowledge of God. But then a season of unrest is thrust into our safe space. Suddenly, it seems like God is absent and we hit the ground, shaken and bruised by our circumstances.
Have you ever felt that way? Forget the four seasons in a year. Doesn’t it seem like there are two distinct seasons in life: one of rest and one of unrest? In rest, there is health and normalcy, stability, and structure. It can feel mundane, but it is comfort wrapped in predictability. Unrest can surprise us the second we receive a diagnosis, lose a job, or watch a child walk away from the Lord. Unrest is the longest season of insecurity or doubt, fear, or shame. It is when a heart wanders or the flesh fails us.
Unrest happens at the exact moment we forget that we never actually fell.
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been confronted with a season of unrest, my thoughts are like an electric current running through my mind and body. I have felt overwhelmed by worry and fear. For many years I wrestled with the very idea of peace. Was it the absence of worry or the presence of faith? Could the very same God who allowed my circumstances also provide peace that transcends all understanding (Phil 4:7)?
I found the answer to my questions in Psalm 91:1-2.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Peace isn’t a feeling we harvest at will or on command. It can’t be plucked from the sky. It’s rooted in the character of God, trusting Him as our refuge and strength. It is choosing to live in His shadow, dwelling in communion with Him. The secret place of the Most High is where we find contentment even as our circumstances shift and change. The word abide in the Greek text is meno, meaning to remain. To abide is not passive but the very act of staying in place or continuing to be present. My favorite definition is to be kept and held continually. Because to know God, to stay in His presence with a full understanding of His character, is to bask in the glory of His peace.
If you’re in a season of unrest, God hasn’t left you to figure it out on your own. Seek Him and trust in His promises. Remain in His word, rooting yourself in His character, and enjoy the peace in knowing you are held always.
You can find April on FB at A Well Done Life