Peace

*sorry for the dry stretch…been battling emptiness lately.

peace.

we all want it.   we all need it.   our lives are full of conflict and disappointments…turmoil and failures….controversy and misunderstanding.

it’s inevitable.   we’re imperfect.   we live in a world of sin.

but peace is available.   peace is possible.   peace is within our grasp.

i have a friend i have known for over 35 years.   we’ve only seen each other a couple of times since our move to texas.   he and his wife have moved on and live in a state of semi-retired bliss.   but his work is not finished.   he still has an effect on my life every now and then.

often…when i find myself in one of those moments when the chaos of conflict is forcing its way into my life,  i remember my friend.   because he knew peace….and taught me about it.   his example and teaching made a difference.

jesus said,  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   John 1633

james said,  “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”   James 4:1

paul said,  “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice…”   Colossians 3:8

like i said,  the opposite of peace is everywhere.   its all around us.   squeezing us.   manipulating us.   conning us.   exerting it’s will on us.   creating havoc.   disrupting sacred tranquility.   robbing us of joy.   leaving us for dead.

but i choose to believe all of scripture,   and not just the parts that reinforce what i’m feeling or the journey i am on.

paul also said,  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:6-7

i choose to believe this is true.   i choose to believe that god is bigger.   i choose to believe that the presence and reality and genuineness of the almighty can bring peace to my heart.   anytime.   anywhere.   no matter what.

the peace of god…the absolute veracity of god’s truth and reality overshadowing the puniness of my situation at any moment in time…is mine for the taking.

in the face of horrific blunders and catastrophic failures and broken world messes…i can experience rest and confidence and hope.

peace.   it is that place where i know that god’s truth is always  better than my feelings and emotions.   where god’s wisdom is  always  better than my flawed perceptions of what would be best for my life.   where god’s good sense is vastly superior to my stupid,  selfish opinions.

i love peace.   when i am not there…when worry and anger and frustration and fear and judgment cloud my vision and self-centeredness steals my inner calm…i cannot act with prudence and sacred caution is thrown to the wind.

hey…i didn’t dream up peace.   but i will take it.

i am grateful that a friend of mine showed me that walking in peace…even in the most difficult of circumstances…was possible.

i hope my peaceful path will do the same for others.

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5 thoughts on “Peace

  1. I love and hate that a prerequisite for peace is getting over myself to the extent that I stop trying to be the authority on what’s best for me. Getting over myself is super difficult most of the time, but doing so has some pretty incredible results.

  2. Is there anyway to have the state of peace first?

    Peace to me seems to be only achieved after two countries have blown each other to smithereens, and nothing at the moment, is left to fight over. No land, resources and population is standing.

    Do we misuse the term peace? Do we just have a bunch of working agreements or treaties with bad relationships, bad finances, God…

    Can you have peace if all elements involved are not 100% absent of hostility or conflict?

  3. Peace. no matter whether we’re talking about large entities such as “this and that” country, or the environment in our homes or within ourselves…Peace is a choice- and the question I have to answer is…who’s going to surrender first??

    Me??
    you??
    blow each other to Smithereens??? Compromise??

    but, I think, the key is called Surrender. and it cant be a half in half out sort of deal. It’s like forgiveness…unless we fully surrender we will NOT fully receive. Unless I fully Forgive you…I cannot fully receive forgiveness for my own iniquities…unless I fully surrender- my heart will hang on to what I want, desire, and the gift of Peace cannot be fully expressed….

    I learned that last year…I finally surrendered as much of myself as possible and when I found something I was still holding on to…I surrendered or prayed for God to take that too. For me, I like to control my environment, analytically (emphasis on anal)… (it’s how I organize my eclectic mind)….it’s why I liked the military in a way…I could be free in a controlled environment…everything around me was ordered and I could relax … and do what I wanted.
    well, God is orderly… and I gave my life to him…(after all these years, ya, I finally REALLY did that), I surrendered all.
    It’s been peaceful ever since…you know, there’s still external world static, but on the whole, it’s good.

    “Peace be with you. ”
    “…and also with you.”
    “Go in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…”
    (My favorite part of denominational ritual…I dont go there always, but once in a while, its good to hear)…

  4. i appreciate each of these comments. peace is not an easy discussion. its illusive and frustrating. we say we want it. sometimes we even say we “have” it. but then its gone in an instant. a questionable look…an ill-timed attempt at sarcasm…a subtle mistake in judgment…or a colossal moral failure…each one can rob us of our peace. each one can produce immediate emotional chaos. brutal.

    we live in an imperfect and sinful world. but the absence of hostility and conflict is not a prerequisite for experiencing the peace that passes understanding. that’s a promise.

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