The past couple weeks have been so chocked full of life, but there’s been this incredible peace that God has granted me despite the ongoing lesson in waiting, uncertainty, and the not-yet.
As I reflected on the gift that peace is during tumultuous times the other morning, my spiritual director also called me to reflect on who God is to me. A week ago while the East Coast was being ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, and I was hundreds of miles away in Tucson dealing with a personal crisis, I had one of those endless nights where I couldn’t sleep.
When I got up, for what seemed like the umpteenth time and made my way, bleary-eyed and fatigued into the hallway, I noticed a light coming from the living room. I peered around the corner to see my father reading the newspaper at 3 or 4 in the morning with his feet propped up on the coffee table, as if it were any other reasonable hour. I didn’t let him know that I was wandering around sleepless, although the next morning he said he thought he thought he heard me. But the image of him sitting up, keeping watch, alert, yet calm in the wee hours of the morning was oddly comforting to me.
And as I reflected with my spiritual director on who God is and how it is that we experience peace during restless times, it occurred to me, like an epiphany, that God is not merely a helper in one aspect of our lives, but desires to help us with every aspect of our lives. This is the wholeness that I had been seeking, and yet my tendency is to allow God to oversee one aspect of my life, while I anxiously thrust my hands into the others.
Now I know in my head that peace is not the absence of uncertainty but God’s presence in its midst, and yet I often live as though that presence is partial.
I am the one who makes it so, because I don’t really surrender all aspects of my life in order to receive. I don’t really believe that God is sitting up in the wee hours of the morning, or that God is in the business of being concerned with all the fears and hopes that concern me.
But what a blessing and a truth and a comfort it is that our God is concerned with our lives! What a comfort it is that God’s peace encompasses every aspect of our lives, if we only let it in!
And what a blessing it is to know that in the darkness, we’re never alone.