First Comes Peace
First Comes Peace

First Comes Peace

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It’s hard to find words of comfort during sorrowful times. Our struggles and pain are uniquely personal. They are mini blueprints that cannot be replicated, because they are our own. And while many may seek to empathize or sympathize, our pain still burns bright. Often, it can feel like there is nothing we can to do make it stop or even fully understand its depth.

Even when we try to push the suffering aside, our experiences will find a way to shape us. Suffering disrupts our daily interactions. It limits us. It can try to define us. And sometimes, it consumes us. We are seen by society as victims or survivors. Religious institutions call us faithful or faithless. They tell us that our trials are here to make us stronger. What do we do, however, when the damage to our souls weighs on our mental well-being? What happens when we don’t overcome the pain, but instead, we learn how to hide it?

The Self-Management of Pain

We begin to cope… and often, not in a healthy way. Sometimes, I can see the lesson right in front of me but I don’t want to accept it. I can know it’s time to move forward, but I can’t. I’m stuck. I’m scared because life after suffering is different. It will never be what it once was. The future feels frightening and filled with regret. We question God’s mercy. Why didn’t it extend farther, to save us from the consequences of choice, whether it was ours or someone else’s?

And so, attachment to the pain grows. Attachments to how to dull the pain become more tempting and at times, we cave. We ponder why one suffers more than another. We covet. We want the joy that we can no longer seem to touch – the joy that seems to now only exist in the lives of others. We ignore this simple truth – that we all suffer. The levels vary, but suffering is a common denominator in this human journey. An until Christ returns, we will continue to experience pain.

If we get bogged down in comparisons or self-pity, suffering will continuously crush the joy left to be found. When sin entered our world, it brought pain. We can’t escape it, no matter what anyone promises. Instead, we must face it. Until we become tired of the suffering, tired of running from ourselves, tired of seeking short-lived gratification, we cannot find a true solution.

Finding God’s Peace

We cannot experience the joy God has for us, until we prioritize the peace that only God can grant us. If we don’t seek His peace, we run the risk of living our lives in a holding pattern. We’ll miss out on the blessings waiting for us because suffering clouds clarity. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (KJV).

It’s in the quiet, when we focus on our spiritual communion, that we can hear God’s voice. We will find the strength to accept peace, and the courage to let the suffering go. Healing takes time, so give yourself time to work through the process. Remember, we are told that if we ask, it shall be given to us. If we seek, we shall find. And we if knock, it shall be opened onto us. (Matthew 7:7) So take the first step and ask God for peace. If you do, joy is just around the corner.

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