Apr 29, 2015 / Devotionals

A Peace That Surpasses Understanding

This morning I got to experience one of my favorite verses in a fresh way. I’ve probably read this passage a hundred times – maybe a hundred times in the last two years, but today God revealed it to me in a new way.

“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

In my mind I’ve always thought the passage refers to the peace being greater than we could understand. In other words – if we pray instead of worrying we’ll be able to function in a state of peace that we can’t really explain but we just know there’s peace. The understanding part always was linked to my understanding of the peace.

Recently God’s been bringing me to grips with the fact that I’m not going to understand everything in life. This is one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn. I can trust God, I can have faith, I can do anything He wants me to, but I expect that I’ll eventually understand God’s plan.

My sister recently made a comment that’s stuck with me:

“A large part of my healing is being ok with unanswered questions. Find peace in the fact that you don’t have to figure it all out out. Allow God to be God.”

In my life I’m constantly searching for control and one of the biggest ways I do this is through my understanding. I want to figure things out. I stew over a problem until I can wrap my mind around the answer. I focus intently on solutions until one makes sense to me.

The fact is that God doesn’t always make sense to us. He’s outside of time. His plan is on a completely different scale from mine and in a different dimension. Whenever I hold back trust in an effort to “figure it all out” I’m not allowing Him to be God in my life.

Because all this has been swirling in my head the last few weeks I think it prompted me to see the word “understanding” in a new light today.

What if the peace that passes all understanding refers to a peace that is greater than the peace I get when I understand everything?

Maybe everyone’s always seen this verse this way before but today it hit me in an amazing way. It’s extremely freeing to know I don’t have to understand to experience peace. The greatest level of peace actually comes not in my own comprehension of my life’s circumstances but in trusting in a God who’s plan is way bigger than I can see.

This is a huge step of trust for me! It goes against everything I want to do naturally – but I want to experience more of God’s peace. Instead of praying for understanding of everything I’m going trust that He knows my needs and that He will provide me not with everything I want but with the peace I need to handle anything life throws at me.

It’s a scary step but it’s very freeing at the same time. I’m excited to experience life free from the constant desire to understand.

My mind will always want to figure things out. It’s how God made me. But I am grateful I don’t have to rely on my own understanding and I can instead trust and experience a peace that is way better than I could expect!