Peace. We all want it. It is a feeling that everything is right in the world. Defined in four, key ways, peace is:
- a state of tranquility or quiet
- freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
- harmony in personal relations
- a state or period of mutual concord between governments
If you are reading this today and are unemployed or things aren’t going well with your job, my guess is you are not experiencing much peace.
When I was unemployed, it was uncomfortable to spend time alone in my quiet home. This is when I missed the community of my team, the busy pace of work, the noise. It made me feel lonely. Most of us don’t like being alone because God created us to be with others.
Is your mind today free from “disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”? Under stress, my mind tends to go non-stop and not always in a positive way. When facing the unknown, most of us think negative thoughts about ourselves and our situation. These can compound, robbing us of peace.
Because I focus on relationships, most of my relationships have harmony, all but the most important one, which is my relationship with myself. How kind have you been with yourself? We are often hardest on ourselves. If unemployed, we blame ourselves for job loss. We feel guilty we didn’t anticipate it or that we couldn’t “fix” whatever we think caused our job loss. If you’re experiencing tough days at work, my guess is you feel it’s “your fault”, that you could or should be fixing whatever is causing your stress. There is a common thread weaving through the scenarios, robbing us of our peace. It is a lack of control.
Too often in life I, and maybe you too, believe we have more control than we do. We believe we can or will make things happen, that we can fix things when they are bad. The hard lesson I’ve learned is I don’t control much at all. Control is an illusion. When I focus on controlling things I can’t control, I have no peace.
Jesus said we will have troubles in this world, and he was right about that, but he also said he’s here to take those troubles for us if we let him. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
How do we get that peace? It only comes from releasing focus from what we can’t control and giving it over to him through prayer. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 6-7).
To stop worrying, give your situation to God. Let Him take over. This is when you will begin to experience peace.
Dale Kreienkamp is the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He is a Human Resources executive and consultant who has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.