A friend once told me: We make the easy things hard.
People often ask my opinion or advice about a direction in their life or a big decision they face. Lives often hang in the balance and futures await on the other side of those decisions, but we can get lost in situations, circumstances, what ifs, maybes and even condemnation and doubt.
The major decisions in life can really come down to one piece of advice. And it’s not hard. It’s really found in scripture over and over, but the Songwriters probably said it best a few decades ago in a classic Christian oldie.
Go where the peace is, go where the peace is. That’s where you want to be. Go where the peace is, Go where the peace is. Follow the Shepherd’s lead.
Honestly, most of us know the right decision to make in life most of the time. Sure there are times when the pros and cons push up against each other and you feel scrunched up in the middle. But often, it’s actually the following through or the doing — aka obedience — that is generally bigger than the decision itself. Thus, my friend’s we make the easy things hard observation.
Have you ever been virtually paralyzed trying to make the right call on something? Like standing frozen at the edge of the bridge coming up with 21 good reasons not to cross over? It’s sort of like the doctor giving you the medicine and you know it’s the best thing for you, but somehow you just know better. Or like exercise. You know you should, you know it’s the right thing, but there’s always a reason not to do it.
We want to wait for the tender push or the gentle tug at our hand. These are the times that you probably feel most alone. When no one else can make that decision for you. The moment your friends seemingly abandon you and when common sense does you no good.
Over and over, though, the Bible gives us the direction in these paralyzing times. It tells us to seek peace. That word seek means to explore, follow, pursue or chase. And that means we have to be moving. You know what they say about pushing a car, right? It’s easier to steer when it’s moving rather than sitting still.
Like the song says: Go where the peace is.
Here’s the real beauty of it though. Isaiah 55:12 tells the story like this:
“For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
You will be led forth with peace. You just have to follow and keep up!
The Message version paints an even more inviting picture: “So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.” Wow, that’s quite profound!
So it’s not as much about struggling to find or even desperately searching for and pursuing peace as it is about following peace and being led into fullness. And you will know it. Often it comes in the first step of obedience. Other times, the journey takes time, but the peace comes instantly. The burden is lifted. The conflict settles. The inner battles cease.
Doesn’t mean that everything is rosy and that there won’t be bumps along the way, but you will know in your knower as my dad used to say.
What are you facing? Which decision have you put off making…or just moving forward with? What relationship is waiting to be mended? Which journey do you need to begin right now?
As my friend said: Sometimes we make the easy things hard.
You can decide now: Go where the peace is, that’s where you want to be.