By Ikenna Ezeugwu
How do you know you have peace? Is it when all is going well and life seems beautiful? Or does this virtue - Peace, become even more real when uncertainty looms and life is spinning out of your control?
On July 31st, 2016, I embarked on a journey where I had to leave my family and all I had known behind in Nigeria and head to the United States in pursuit of higher education. It was my first time leaving my country and I was excited at the opportunity of obtaining a Civil Engineering Master’s Degree from Purdue University Northwest. I was totally unaware of the curve balls life would throw at me. After a year into the program, I was unsure if I was going to graduate and uncertainties about my future began to creep into my mind. I was at my wits end and even considered returning to my home country.
For the first time in my life, I felt like a failure.
It was in the midst of this upheaval that I remembered the words from the Bible that God had impressed on my heart some years back:
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)
These words rekindled the dying embers of hope in my heart and just like the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “they became an anchor for my soul” (Hebrews 6:19). They were like flickers in a very dark room, like a breath of fresh air. They brought peace to my soul and even though the situations did not change immediately, my perspective was realigned. My gaze shifted from the storm I was in and looked beyond the hills to where my help comes from - the Maker of heaven and earth. In time, God resolved the issues and opened up the right doors without my efforts. I graduated on time and received a job offer that brought me to Saint Paul.
Fast forward two years, I am currently at a point where I have to make some major life decisions and the clouds of uncertainty seems to be gathering once again. It feels like I am back at the mountain I left behind - having no ‘control’ over the way my life should go. Once again I am reminded by God to keep my gaze on Him for the scriptures say:
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
Just as Jesus spoke to the raging storm “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39, NKJV) so God speaks to my heart time and time again through the pages of scripture when I am caught in the storms of life and peace seems to elude me.