Albert Einstein once said, “I love humanity but I hate humans.” It’s a harsh statement, but I have to admit, sometimes I feel his pain.
Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of people—my wife, my children, my friends. But I get irritated by the business next door that takes my clients’ parking spots. I grumble at the neighbor who cuts his grass at 7:00 in the morning when I’m trying to sit and enjoy my coffee in silence. And when a bunch of these irritants gang up on me all at once, I reach a tipping point. I soon leak with resentment.
The other day, I was sitting in prayer mulling over several problems buzzing around my life like pesky mosquitos. During my lament, this scripture popped up in my head like God had just thrown a paper airplane at me:
“In this world you will have trouble. Find your peace in me. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
The words melted my victim heart. My self-pity shifted toward Divine Wisdom.
Jesus warned us we’d experience problems in life. It’s part of learning to get along with each other. God knows, Jesus had his share of turmoil during his earthly life.
The words from scripture reminded me to practice acceptance.
Accept that life is messy. People are messy, and I’m messy too. Accept life, yourself, and others on life’s terms.
And the way to move through life’s tensions and hectic pace is to turn our attention toward God. Seek his peace. Go to him for the wisdom to know how to handle each situation. Dig deep into the silence of our hearts and ask the Creator what to do with each problem that arises. Then, listen. Wait. Let the answer unfold.
So, I tried that with a problem I was having with a friend. I laid the situation out to God and asked, “What should I do? How should I handle this?”
After sitting and listening for twenty minutes, the answer rose up. Talk to the person with love. Explain your feelings. Identify the problem. Focus on the solution.
Later that day, I reached out to my friend. We had a great conversation. We resolved the issue, shook hands, and moved into the solution. We even laughed, recalling the motto we’d committed several years ago to practice: “focus on the problem, and the problem will increase. Focus on the solution, and the solution will increase.”
I guess finding your peace in God is much more than a pithy saying. It’s an important tool available for us to use. Accept that life is full of ups and downs. And when the downs get the best of you, pick up the tool of silence, bring your problems to the Creator, ask for the answers, and listen.
That’s how he guides us with his Wisdom. That’s how we find our peace in him.
Main Point: Asking God how to handle life’s problems is the way we find guidance and peace.
Action Step: Take twenty minutes each day to sit in silence. During that time, bring to God a problem you’re having. Ask him how to handle it. Then listen. Wait. Let the answer unfold in your heart.
—brian j plachta