The Path to Peace

Most coaches probably wouldn’t describe the coaching profession as “peaceful.”  The description that comes to mind would more likely be along the lines of “stressful” or maybe even “relentless.”  So is it possible to experience genuine peace as a coach – even in the midst of the most intense times?

We’re doing a series of devotions on the fruit of the Spirit, which comes from Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  As God through his Spirit is growing us toward maturity, we’ll be increasingly marked by the qualities listed in these verses – including peace.  How does growth in being characterized by peace happen for you as a coach?

In John 14:27, Jesus promises this for his followers: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.”  When Jesus speaks of “peace,” what he means is captured in the Hebrew word shalom.  It’s about something deeper than the absence of conflict or stress.  Shalom carries the idea of experiencing well-being, flourishing, and harmony in all areas of our life as we’re living according to God’s good intent under Jesus’ reign as our Lord and King.

In Psalm 4, the psalmist talks about his troubles (v. 1).  He’s clearly in the midst of a stressful situation.  Yet he concludes the psalm with these words: “In peace (shalom) I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”  Just a verse before, we get a picture of the flourishing that shalom from God brings: “You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.”  All of this is not the result of the psalmist’s circumstances suddenly changing.  Instead, he experiences shalom because he has intentionally chosen to “trust in the Lord” (v. 5).

Therein lies the path to greater peace: continually choosing to trust the Lord.  It’s recognizing that Jesus reigns as the sovereign King over all.  Even when circumstances are stressful and coaching responsibilities feel relentless, the Lord is in control.  He is always working for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28).  We flourish as we recognize that life and wholeness are a gift from Christ (John 10:10).  The fleeting experiences of the world, including things like coaching success or comfortable circumstances, cannot give lasting peace.  Only trusting Jesus can.

Coach, it really is possible to experience genuine peace – even in those times when coaching feels most intense.  The Lord wants you to experience the peace of mind and heart he gives.  He wants you to be able to say with the psalmist, “In peace I will lie down and sleep.”  The Spirit is doing this work in you as you respond with releasing control to Christ and trusting him.  And the more your coaching and your life are marked by shalom, the greater impact this will have on your players as well.

For reflection:  Read through Psalm 4, thinking about how the psalmist is able to move from stress to peace.  Ask the Spirit to help you grow in truly trusting Christ in all circumstances so that you can experience the peace he gives.