You know how it goes. "If only I it was like this, I would be at peace."
I'm going to tell you a short story pastor Andreas Nielsen of Hillsong Stockholm shared a couple of weeks ago. He told us about a man he'd met when he was in Congo. This man and his family lived in extreme poverty, he was lame from his knees downward, his children weren't able to attend school and the family was struggling to access water and food. Many of their circumstances were definitely not celebration-worthy and completely heartbreaking. Still, this man thought of himself as incredibly blessed and that he had so much to be thankful of.
His peace didn't rely on whether or not he could walk. His peace didn't rely on whether or not he could provide for his family. His peace didn't lie in his circumstances. This man thought he had no reason not to thank God for what he have been given and had no reason to not live in thankfulness.
It wasn't until a couple of weeks after I attended this sermon, when I had come to a point where I felt like dissatisfaction, unhappiness and stress was getting the best best of me, the thought hit me that I've been relying so hard on my circumstances and that it was necessary for me to rely on something more sturdy and consistent. I realised I was at a point where I had calibrated my life toward my circumstances and toward the prayers I didn't think God had answered and it was making me absolutely miserable.
Jesus talked about having peace even when there's no logic to it. The Son Himself knew exactly what future was awaiting him, still he found peace in God until the end. Peace is a gift we choose to receive from God, a gift that always is offered and although we wander, confused on our own, He is always there lovingly waiting for us to accept the gift he has for us. Something not dependent on our circumstances and something that goes against everything that is logical and reasonable. Something that is steadfast.
I guess it's a lifelong practice, so it doesn't hurt starting early, aye? While I have to keep on practicing on giving my worries and concerns to Him, my newest addition on the daily will be on calibrating my life toward thankfulness instead of my circumstances. If the man in Congo who was lame from his knees down, who couldn't provide for his family and lived in extreme poverty could find no reason to not live in thankfulness, I sure must be able to let God's peace flood my circumstances and life too.