In the world of sports, athletes are told to be Circumstance Proof. They are expected to overcome circumstances and excuses in order to reach their individual or team goals. For the longest time, I thought the secret ingredient to a Circumstance Proof Life was Toughness. I believed that if a person increased their level of Toughness they would be more apt to overcome circumstances, but as I was sitting in church today, God challenged my thinking. He said: Toughness is a way to overcome circumstances; it’s just not My Way. See, at the core of Toughness is an independent way of living. Toughness is built on the hardening of one’s self to survive whatever circumstance comes. It is self-reliant, and it is a hang on for dear-life mindset. It is more about surviving the circumstance than actually thriving in it.
This morning God presented a new perspective. God’s perspective of Circumstance Proof isn’t Toughness; it’s Peace. Where Toughness relies on self, Peace starts with humility and the recognition that we cannot do it alone. It’s the realization that we need help that prompts us to search for it. Toughness plants a seed of stress and worry because it is all on us. Peace, on the other hand, plants a seed of rest because it’s not on us. See, Peace starts from a place of weakness. We must first recognize that we cannot control all of our circumstances. It is that recognition that opens the door for us to search for a greater source then ourselves, and when we find The Source that is greater than all circumstances, we can sit, rest, and thrive in any circumstance that comes our way. I have two examples:
1. In Psalm 23, it talks about preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies. The only way we can sit down to have a meal (Peace) with our enemies present (Circumstance) is because of the Good Shepherd is with us (The Source).
2. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendnego were thrown into a fiery furnace (Circumstance), and had a conversation (Peace) with a fourth party (The Source) and survived.
So although we can survive some circumstances with Toughness, we were called to rest and thrive in all circumstances with His Peace! Imagine if we approached our circumstances from a place of Peace, rather than a place of Toughness. What would our life look like? Maybe we would experience more rest and less stress. It is my prayer that I begin to approach my circumstances with Peace not Toughness, and I pray the same for you!