Imagine it’s a warm autumn evening, you’re standing in the middle of the park. The leaves are turning a lovely golden brown and those on the ground creating a carpet of beauty. The sky is blue with a few white clouds scattered about, there’s a lovely breeze coming through and a sweet chorus from the birds up in the sky. You take a deep soothing breath then let it out slowly. This to me is peace, this is calm and communion with God and self.
When I was in university, I often struggled with overthinking and worrying. How could biblical peace be a gift yet be difficult to access? How could it be a fruit when I couldn’t even recognise it in myself?
I found myself taking this well into my university years, affecting my work and even my relationships with those around me. I then started having nightmares which were a regular occurrence when I was in emotional turmoil. I prayed and read about peace, I was that girl that stuck Bible verses on every surface.
The book of Psalm became my anchor. Psalm 23, Psalm 91 and especially Psalm 4:8 (you can tell I googled verses for nightmares at 3am). As funny and childlike as this was, it soothed and helped me sleep.
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 (NIV)
I wanted the peace that surpassed all understanding as they talked about in Philippians. Yes, I googled verses and then highlighted and stuck them on a piece of paper, some may say it’s ‘unChristian’ like but that’s the very thing that took me on a journey of finding peace.
I realised later that peace wasn’t a destination and it wouldn’t look the way I envisioned it. For me, I had to create an environment where I not only felt more in tune with God but also with myself.
Our everyday lives are so filled with schedules and conflicts and other people (can you tell I’m an introvert yet), this means we sometimes don’t know what the root cause of a reaction is. We become numb to our pain and until we feel that pain, we can’t fully accept peace.
Peace can feel just out of reach and we can start to accept it on a surface level. Yes, peace is a fruit of the Spirit therefore we can all access it. However simply put, peace comes from that boastful knowledge that nothing and no one (not even ourselves) can win against the kind of love The Father has for us. Think about it, what is greater, mightier and stronger than God’s love that brought a piece of Himself into this world to have the full human experience yet remain without a blemish and be the very sacrifice that would bring us back home. Nothing!
‘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.’ Jh14:27 (NIV). Find time to create that moment of peace and find ways to carry them well within yourself. Why don’t you accept that gift of peace this Christmas Season? Merry Christmas to you.