Perfectly Peaceful

I often have an ear worm running through my mind for the day. Most often said ear worms have a faith-based dimension to them. Today, and yesterday, it was this one:

Peace, perfect peace, is the gift of Christ our Lord,
Peace, perfect peace, is the gift of Christ our Lord.
Thus, says the Lord, will the world know my friends,
Peace, perfect peace, is the gift of Christ our Lord.

Kevin Mayhew (1976)


I can’t remember when I last heard it sung out loud. Not that that matters. Not only has this frankly dull, repetitive tune been driving me (ever-further) nuts for the past two days, I’ve been driving myself nuts thinking on its implications.

As you may have guessed, I am not at peace. Rather, I am spiralling axle-less about stressage central. Interview on Wednesday. Job that I really, really want. Since then I have barely slept from anxiety, and I am still none-the-wiser. In academic terms, this is likely to mean that I do not have the job.

Unlike with other jobs (wherever You want me to be, God, I trust You to place me) my prayer over this one has been along the lines Please let this be the one, be what You want for me God; God, I would really love this job, please God.  With greater repetition than Kevin Mayhew managed. The thought of unemployment looms large. My prayers, less prayerful, more tic-ful, pleading almost outwith my control. I am not sure how much longer I can withstand this level of alert distractedness. Willing the ‘phone to ring. It not ringing. Me not knowing.

What is perfect peace? I cannot find peace in this waiting. I can trust no longer. If perfect peace is zen-like calm, ripple-free waters,  if this is the gift of Christ, He has not gifted it to me. Even sleep is not peaceful. Vivid nightmares torture me then, night after ceaseless night. Why can I not find peace?  Why can’t I continue to trust, calm my mind, still a racing heart? Why can’t I stop the tic-ing? Violent self-directed aggression. Distress. 

I cannot control this anxiety. Into it whispers the voice that tells me I am not wanted anywhere. All I do is hurt people. I am good for nothing. Peace is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of God.  Is perfect peace less zen-like, and more prayer-filled? When the  voices drum, I cry bitterly to God. Why am I unwanted? Is perfect peace simply knowing God is there in the midst of the agitation?

But I do not feel as if God is hearing me, or doing anything to help. If anything, I am more stressed now than I was yesterday. I feel less able to face the uncertainty, more ready to run away from the world. Maybe God is not there for me at all. **What then?**

What is the perfect peace that is the gift of Christ, our Lord? Where can I find it?

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One Response to Perfectly Peaceful

  1. I need to reflect on this, but I think the song is wrong. I don’t think Jesus says that the world will know us by our peace; but by our love. And I’m reminded of Jeremiah, where he says:

    ‘They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
    saying, “Peace, peace,”
    when there is no peace.’

    I’m not sure what comfort this is, but I sense that our peace comes in knowing that we are the beloved of God.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. x


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