How to Find Life and Peace
My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. Malachi 2:5
I’ve lived in turmoil and misery, and I’ve lived in peace and contentment. From the outside, the circumstances between the two conditions probably didn’t look all that different. Both lives involved being a husband/dad, practicing as a physician, and going to church on Sundays. The difference inside me though, and in my daily behaviors – even if no one saw – was radical.
In one life – the miserable one – I followed my appetites to the inevitable destruction of addiction. For a long time, few knew that I struggled, but I hated my wretched secret life. Now, in recovery, though I live far from perfectly, I enjoy genuine peace and life, as I make an authentic – if flawed – effort to daily point myself at God. No longer enslaved to addiction, I’m free to pursue the life God intended. The difference again, hasn’t depended on my circumstances, but rather on my life’s focus and the behavior that followed.
This seems to be the Malachi’s point when he explained the covenant that God had previously made with his priests, promising them life and peace if they followed him. We may not be priests, but the passage still reveals God’s will for us. God made us to know the eternal life, joy, and peace that can only be found in our relationship with him.
Unconvinced, we cause ourselves endless misery in the pursuit of happiness in money, work, sex, food, status, popularity, affirmation, appearance, success, or whatever it is that gets us high. God allows us to pursue fleeting gratification in these things, but these things can never replace God. Trying to find our meaning in them, will ultimately lead only to turmoil and misery.
If, like me, you have become sick of the misery of my way, then you are ready to find true life and peace. The road isn’t always easy. Recovery and faith always require sacrifice of self. What is it that I’m clinging to that’s causing me misery? What must I abandon? Following God doesn’t mean that circumstances always work out the way we want. Following God simply means that we may know life and peace in any circumstance.