Short Meditations on Peace 5. Useful Disquiet
1 Cor 14:32 God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
Our focus is on peace and how it can be taken from us, and then how we can regain it; that is what we are covering in these particular meditations, but sometimes the absence of peace can be good.
Now that seems to go against all else we are saying, but think about it for a moment. The absence of peace can act as a warning to us that things are not right and we need to be alert and find out what is going on and what we need to do.
Sometimes when we are seeking guidance, for example, and we have two options before us, an absence of peace, or a ‘disquiet’ about one of them, suggests which is not the right path to take. Peace is useful. Yes, we may need to carry out other checks to confirm the guidance, but that disquiet can be a starting point of guidance.
I think we very often take peace for granted. It is something God has given us as Christians and of course it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22,23). It is something He brings in us and so it is there most of the time and in that ‘most’ we can take it for granted, but when it is absent we need to sit up and take note. It is a sign that God is not happy with the situation.
The absence of peace in respect of guidance, I just said, can be a useful thing, but it may be more than in simple guidance. Let’s just take one illustration. If you are a parent, you may suddenly lack peace in respect of one of your children. I don’t know if you pray for your children every day but if you do, then it may be as you pray for one of them, then suddenly you are aware of a disquiet or lack of peace about them. Something is wrong, something needs checking, something needs praying through, and so the absence of peace that we identify becomes a ‘warning light on the dashboard’ of life that shows we need to take action. Maybe we need to go and get closer to them and give them opportunity to open up and share so we may be able to help. Disquiet led us there, the absence of peace.
Now this whole area of ‘disquiet’ or the absence of peace is an important one but the trouble is that many of us have never learned to be self-aware in this respect. This whole series is really about being aware when peace is absent and then taking appropriate steps to regain in but if we are not conscious of that peace we will also fail to be aware when we have a disquiet. Disquiet isn’t merely the absence of peace, it is the absence linked to something specific, and this can apply right across the spectrum of our lives and so we may come back to it again and again as we identify the various things that come into our lives, or we allow to happen, that steal our peace.