Love finds peace (pt4)

by Craig on February 24, 2011

I learned it from Our Lord’s example, I’ve studied it, practiced it – and it works. It really is the secret to peace in any decision or situation.

Steps one and two are here. But the table was set in part one – if you missed that you and you want to read it – it’s here. Then I had to write this on the Trinity yesterday.

And now step three:

A look ahead…

Step 4 is praying for God’s will.

Step 3 is actually wanting God’s will.

Oh, how that changes things.

A part of me has always resisted praying this prayer. It goes back to college. Her name was Tina. And I was oh so very much in love. And it ended. And I went to the church to pray. And the priest told me two things I will never ever ever tell someone with a broken heart.

  1. If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you blah blah…
  2. It is God’s will.

The second one – that’s where it started. Why do we always say that when bad things happen. A breakup is God’s will. An illness – God’s will. A hangnail – God’s will.

Who wants that?

That was problem number one. Problem two is complicated. For instance:

Am I the only one who really really wants what I want. A lot?

And what if God wants something different?

And what if that different isn’t so enjoyable?

And why can’t I just have my way?

And why can’t God just know that I want something and give it to me?

And who made him the boss of me?

Oh.

Strike that last one.

The thing is that God’s will in a situation may be what I want, or it may be a detour, a delay, or a denial. But if I want peace. I have to want what he wants above what I want.

Whimpering is aloud, and pouting, and a kick or two – but all before I lay it at his feet. All tantrums must be complete before step number four – in order for peace to be had. If not they’ll sneak back and rob any peace achieved.

There’s a verse that everybody loves, but it always gets quoted out of context – and distorted a little. Romans  8:28, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

It makes it sound like God will make everything bad, actually good – a kind of “Don’t worry God will make it all better” verse. Anyway, how can we know what the “good” in the verse means?

We just read around it, the context.

In the verse above it? There’s that term “God’s will”.

Interesting.

In the verse below it. Paul tells us that the “good” is “to be conformed to the image of his Son”. It’s not for a positive outcome, not for “victory”, not for bluebirds. God will take everything that happens, if we allow him, and use it to conform us into his image. Which, if I’m in the right spiritual place – is actually what I want – more than what I want.

Funny how that works out.

And so it’s a matter of trust, and faith.

This whole peace thing gets short circuited right here If…

I want what I want over what God wants.

If I think what he wants is anything less than what’s best for me.

If I think he can’t be trusted.

If I am afraid to let go of some control.

If I want him bent to my will instead of the opposite.

Anyone need convincing that God’s will is better? I can write some on how we can trust God if you’d like.  Just let me know in the comments. It could be a whole “Love trusts God” post. But maybe you’re already convinced. If you are, it’s on to step 4 tomorrow.

In God’s love.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

kim February 24, 2011 at 8:16 am

I too pray and ask God to show me his will – cringing in fear all the while that I may not like what he’s showing me. A few weeks ago this came to pass. I had been praying to god to give me the tools to be a better parent especially to my busy toddler. Then I waited. What came was not what I wanted to see. My three year old mimicked something nasty I said to my husband in a moment of frustration (something that happens all too often lately) but aimed the remark at me. I saw exactly how I was affecting my children by lashing out at my husband. It hurt me not because I felt bad for saying the thing to my husband but it hurt me deeply to know that I could be contributing to the dysfunction in our family. I cried for two hours – something I rarely do. God knows me so well. He knows that had my husband said something like- stop treating me so badly- I would have dismissed him. But my children – well he knew I would listen if he spoke through them. I went through feeling ashamed, to going gentle on myself and have tried to be more conscious in my dealings. Still I fail all the time.
I know what you are saying to me here Craig!

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Nikki February 24, 2011 at 9:22 am

I LOVE this:

“God will take everything that happens, if we allow him, and use it to conform us into his image. Which, if I’m in the right spiritual place – is actually what I want – more than what I want.”

I think this is another way God works miracles. He can take the bad and use it to conform us to His image! He can turn pain into gain, sorrow into joy…And in the end we are more like Him.

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Craig February 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

Amen Nikki. He takes garbage and makes gold. There was a time in my life I gave him lots of garbage-y raw material to work with. But not nearly as much now. I’ve wondered – if he teaches and shapes and makes the bad – good – then what will he do if I just give him lots of good to work with. Here’s hoping :) Thank you for reading – and God bless.

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Craig February 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

Kim, thank you a LOT for sharing this. I had all the negative voices and fingers lined up ready to shout me down way before dawn today. God is bigger. So what we aren’t perfect! So what we make mistakes! So what – you did. So what – so did I. But Our Lord doesn’t make mistakes – and he is perfect – and he’s working on us all. God Bless you Kim. and thank you.

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Bonnie Daniel Shelton February 24, 2011 at 11:50 am

In God’s Love… Obviously so. Thanks, Craig!

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Craig February 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Thank you Bonnie. Hope all is well. God bless and keep.

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Dawn February 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm

“We (Paul and Timothy) continually ask God to fill you (the church at Colassae) with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding the Spirit gives.” Colossians 1:9 (NIV)

It’s that important that it made the early church fathers pray continually for it!

I know what you’re saying when you state you have been really resistant to this. So was I till I read your reasons why that is not good thinking. The one reason that particularly spoke to me was, “If I think what he wants is anything less than what’s best for me.” I realize I must think that or I would do what he says. Huh, that really sat me up straight. The implications of my behavior are not acceptable. I will have to do something about this.

Thanks ?
Dawn

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Craig February 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I’m sorry :)

I hate it when a God thought – a love thought makes me “sit up straight” too. I say the same “Thanks?” to God all the time. We are so darned imperfect – and that seems to be OK with him. He gives us Grace and just wants us to keep striving. God Bless you Dawn. Thank you for reading.

I hate it when God’s

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Debra February 25, 2011 at 12:19 am

Craig, when I read this tonight, I couldn’t help but think about those teachers in Milwaukee protesting and demanding “my will be done.” This is not to point the boney finger at them; we all have our pre-school tantrums. But what a miracle if they all stopped in their tracks and said, “Fine God, I’ll trust you to provide all my needs. I’ll stop screaming and shouting long enough to listen for once.” I don’t need convincing that God’s will is better; I’ve learned the hard way that God’s will is the only way… for me at least. But your take on “Love trusts God” would be lovely.

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Craig February 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

Debra I think a “Love trusts God” might just be on the agenda then. I think we all might need a refresher (by all I mean me too). Learning the hard way sticks though doesn’t it?
God bless you Deb – really – God bless.

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Anonymuss February 26, 2011 at 1:33 am

God making all things work for good…for my transformation into his likeness. I never thought of it that way but I see your point and agree, and how much more sense that makes in light of everything!

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Craig February 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

Oh how we pick and choose verses out of context – and make them say what we want – and we so shouldn’t. From the first tie this verse was quoted to me I was told it meant that God will make the bad – good -but it doesn’t say that. Context we can’t take anything out of context – me included. God Bless A.

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