>It truly pains me to see people I know and love go through tough stuff… stuff that requires an insane amount of emotional and mental fortitude, stuff that can make or break a person, stuff that makes a person question his or her very identity and purpose in life.
Then I started thinking about peace. What is peace? Is it something we as children pray for on a magical Christmas Eve, or something the hippies wanted during ‘Nam? Is peace what you see when a baby is sleeping? (Because Lord knows that it won’t be peaceful once that baby wakes!) Is it what we feel after a long spat with a loved one, and we finally resolve the argument? Peace in God’s terms is not confined to tie-dye, or signs that looks like a messed up pie chart.
I believe having peace is the key to having contentment in life. It keeps us from straying towards sin, or even just a wayward glance. It provides stability and satisfaction. It hopes, it fulfills, it compels us to love others.
Have you ever heard of a testimony of someone who really came from a life of addiction, lust, self-loathing, whatever, who really wishes that he or she could go back to that life? Hizell to the no. Sure, all those things provide convenient distractions and false self-esteem. They boost our pride and egos to make us think we’re invincible and don’t need God.
But then everything comes crashing down, sometimes without warning, although we usually know before we engage in certain behaviors what the outcome is going to be, and it’s not pretty. We hear the lines of “I told you so”s and it just makes us want to scream, hate ourselves, and hide in a corner. We realize what we thought would hold us up has actually been a rubble heap the whole time. We’re just adding to the pile.
The best news is that there is no peace outside of a life surrendered to Christ. It may sound counterintuitive, that a negative statement would be good, the best, news. But it is. In Christ we have everything we ever need!
Peace is about as easily understood as a woman; that is, harder to crack than a super secretive high tech code… or something. Maybe we just need something that reads invisible ink….
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
It transcends our understanding.. it’s above us, it goes beyond the limits of our understanding. That must mean it’s kind of a big deal.
Jesus Himself said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
We can see, though, that Jesus Himself left us with His peace. In this passage, Jesus is talking to the disciples about heaven and the Holy Spirit. He says earlier in verse 6 that the only way to heaven is through Him. Not only can we receive the free gift of eternal life (try putting a bow on that one!), but we also can have peace right now, on this earth that’s spinning into oblivious turmoil.
The world doesn’t care if our hearts are troubled; in fact, people get all kinds of attention when they’re having issues. They become popular in the limelight and show mankind doing what it does best: being human. Multiple industries capitalize on our being afraid. Scream, anyone?
I’m the nerd who still remembers most of what I learned in Momma Knight’s sophomore etymology class, so I love any excuse to delve into the origins of words. Bear with me as I divulge some info about what peace means in Greek and Hebrew. I know, two ancient languages in one sitting. Links go to the Strong’s entries.
I end this post with lyrics from a popular song… “Our hearts are hungry for a food that won’t come/ And we could make a feast from these crumbs…”
Hmm… are you thinking what I’m thinking?