The Foundation for All Peace
Prior to a speaking event not so long ago, a staff member and I were enjoying a meal on the West Coast. While the young waitress attended our table during the meal, I asked her: “If you could ask God for anything in your life, what would you ask Him to do for you?”
Without hesitation, she answered: “I’d ask for peace.”
A tear made its way down her cheek as she shared with us about her beloved grandmother’s death a few days before.
As she shared her story, I learned no one in her family believed in God—and neither did she. She’d not consciously rejected Him. All she knew was there was a deep restlessness inside, but she had no understanding about how to resolve that inner turmoil, or even what lay at the root of it. Like many people, she was living day to day, not having much purpose or meaning in her life.
This young woman represents so many in our society today—going through the motions, striving to make ends meet, seeking a way where there seems to be no way, and trying to make sense of it all.
Too often, there seems to be no adequate answers to our human dilemma—especially to the question of why we feel so empty, void, and lacking peace. Furthermore, there appears to be no satisfactory reason for us to keep putting out our best efforts and still suffering with life’s adversities.
The young waitress serving us explained the issue in her terms by saying, “I need peace.” Others would say, “I’m so lonely.” Some would say, “If my spouse would only love me as he/she should, then I’d be happy.” Different variations but all the same melody: “There’s something wrong ... I’m not happy. I have no peace. What’s wrong with me?”
Most who are victims of the messages of our secular society experience this void and don’t equate their problem with God. We’re constantly bombarded with society’s claims: “If only you were thinner, dressed with more style, drove a Jaguar, lived in a better part of town, made more money …” the list goes on and on. But none of the aforementioned highly-prized answers to our problems or any of the hundreds of others offered to us can permanently and satisfactorily provide what we desperately crave.
The young waitress had it right: Most of us feel strongly that we need something more—and the all-encompassing word that so well describes it is peace.
And as a pastor for more than six decades, I can tell you that until you have peace with God, you will never experience true peace in this life.