We will return to your regularly scheduled Fruit of the Spirit blogging series next month. But this still “in processing” blog on peace had to be written now.
I’ve been taking this year to dive into the Fruit of the Spirit on this blog, as experienced through my sexuality. This new journey has already yielded fascinating results, all of which can never be fully conveyed through my blogs.
One thing I didn’t anticipate enough, though, was how this spiritual journey would impact my life beyond my sexuality. My life on the whole.
Yes, I knew the Fruit of the Spirit were not exclusive to my sexuality. But I thought, perhaps, I could just learn about them via this part of my life.
Instead, God has been revealing the Fruit of the Spirit in my whole self before relating it to my queerness. I’d have rather not done it this way; the month of March is why.
As I currently write this blog in March of 2020, this month has been all about peace. Some of you are already chuckling, and I’d ask you to kindly hush.
The month is not even halfway over, and I’ve been experiencing almost everything opposite of peace.
The first week of the month I was at a work conference. While there, I realized I was experiencing burnout in this particular field.
Editing written resources is something I enjoy — but doing it for twenty hours a week has driven me into the ground. Add to the fact that this material is a highly sensitive subject concerning church outreach, and you have a burned out Dean.
I found myself constantly irritated by various church leaders at this conference. Every question they asked, every statement they made, every expression on their faces at our teaching expanded the echoing ache in my soul.
I wanted to slap each church person there and “shake the dust off my feet,” so to speak, as I left the conference. But I stuck through it.
Upon returning home, my daughter started her school’s spring break. She decided this would be the best time to perform her daily impression of a sin-filled, rebellious child. She is doing a killer job, driving me and my wife to our wits’ end.
As that particular week progressed, COVID-19 began taking the world by storm, causing shutdowns and cancelations worldwide. This began affecting countless people, putting their livelihoods in jeopardy.
And then, yesterday hit.
I was emailing my supervisor about my next steps. I needed to know which project to edit next. His response was not ideal: there would be no more work for me, starting immediately.
This job currently supplies more than a third of my family’s income — or, rather, make that supplied.
Now, I do have another job I will be moving into soon. But that’s still three months from now.
Even that organization is struggling financially at the moment. So, I’m basically moving from one group in need of financial relief to another in need of financial relief.
And what was that fruit I was supposed to be learning about right now?
Oh, yeah. Peace. The opposite of how I’m currently feeling.
I’m not going to give up, though. Somehow, peace is possible — even right now.
I don’t feel like having peace. Peace won’t give my family income. Peace won’t solve the financial burdens of two massive ministries. Peace won’t cure the coronavirus or bring back canceled jobs or put food on the table or anything.
Peace won’t do anything I want it to do right now. So, what good is it? Why do I need peace when a whole bunch of other, more pressing needs are still waiting to be filled and answered?
What good is Your peace right now, God? Because that’s not what I need.
Maybe . . . just maybe . . . that’s what I need to learn.
Are you struggling with peace during this coronavirus crisis? When have you struggled with — or attained — God’s peace in the past, and how can you embrace it, if even in some small way daily?