“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” -Psalm 29:11
This verse has been on my heart the last few days, and on and off in my mind for the last few months. Today I feel extremely blessed. But some days I don’t. I believe that the Word is always true, so what does this mean? If I don’t feel peace, is God turning away from me? I have a feeling that my restlessness occurs most when I am not in right relationship with the Lord and then turn to Him in desperation. There are other reasons we don’t feel peace, but this is a big one for me.
A praise song I’ve often sung says that “we are thirsty, Lord Jesus, thirsty for more of You.” If we are thirsty for God, that means that we drink of God. But when do we best absorb water? Not when we are dehydrated, that’s when water is hard for our bodies to take in, but rather when we have stayed well hydrated over time. When I cry out to God in my distress on days when I feel no peace, I want to be well hydrated so that I can absorb God’s blessing–the strength and peace He promises in the Psalms.
So how can I be well hydrated in terms of drinking of God? Often this means spending time in prayer and in the Word, like we most often say in American Protestant tradition, but sometimes I think this means having spent time talking through my faith and my doubts with other friends as well, and with older Christian mentors. Sometimes it means going on walks with God, and not really saying anything, just basking in God’s presence. To borrow a phrase from Michael Yaconelli, it sometimes means I need to “take a nap with Jesus.” I think in every friendship, the friends know best how to stay close. Each believer knows what they need to do to stay hydrated in that relationship so that when they cry out to God, they are able to drink of Him and their thirst be quenched. This is hard, at least for me, because I am instinctively driven closer to God when I am hurting, but the truth is that I must be always drinking of God.
” Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” -Psalm 34:14
God calls us to pursue peace, the peace he blesses us with, poured out to us if we are ready and willing to drink of it.