“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
According to dictionary.com one of the several ways peace is defined is as: “A state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations.” Of the other definitions of peace I happen to like the one that is said to be obsolete and uses peace as a verb. This definition of peace is: “to be or become silent.” I would love to just “be” but every time I try…the world begins to scream at me to take notice of something that wants attention. Sometimes it is a project I have been working on that cries out to be finished. Sometimes it is one of my children that needs attention. Sometimes it is just the fact that I have words that are in me and need to be written down and they pester me until I sit at my computer and begin to type. And sometimes…actually more often than not it is unrest in the world. Right now it is pretty much everything as there is a lot of unrest. It seems there is nowhere to turn to find peace.
To be honest, peace seems pretty elusive right now. It feels at times like we will never have peace. Between all the bickering that goes on in Washington D.C. between party affiliations, with both sides calling the other names and throwing accusations around. Between all the concerns over the Covid-19 virus and the differing opinions about what we should or should not do as we begin to open up our economies. The protests, and riots over race relations in our country. The day to day drama that can happen within families. Which is heightened right now because of all the above. Or a myriad other things that come into our lives and that steal our peace. All of this and more makes talk of peace seem like nothing more than a crazy pipe dream. Something that we long for but can never seem to achieve. I wonder…
I think peace can be achieved but we can’t achieve it if we begin outside ourselves. We will only have peace when we have peace in our own hearts. Which means we need to know ourselves and what pushes our buttons and gives us un-peace. Until we can answer the question: what is it that steals our peace, we will never be able to achieve true peace. Which is why I like the verses from the gospel of John above where Jesus is saying that he has left his peace here with us and we can have peace through him…the world around us may be filled with unrest, turmoil, riots, and dissention but we can still have peace in our hearts as we navigate the many difficulties in the world.
I mean read those verses. Jesus says in the world there will be tribulation which means according to dictionary.com (I know…I like to define words) tribulation means grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering. Doesn’t sound like fun to me. But Jesus also says that even in the midst of tribulation we don’t need to lose our peace because Jesus has overcome the world so we can take heart and be at peace….we can just be…And in channeling the profound peace Jesus offers we can not only be at peace in our own hearts but we can offer peace to others as we gently move and work in our communities. We can be kind in the face of negativity. We can be gentle in the face of unrest. We can be compassionate in the face of hate.
I have no idea what each of you may be going through in your life right now. I do not know what you are dealing with. What I do know is that God will walk with you through all you are dealing with and God will be there for you. Because here’s the thing: God loves you. God really loves each one of you and wants what is best for you. So, I wish you peace through all you may be going through personally, through all we are going through as a nation, and through all we are going through globally…I wish you peace…not just any peace but the peace that Jesus has given us and that allows our hearts to not be troubled.