God has called you to live in peace.
1 Corinthians 7:15b
Peace in the world is hard to find. There are wars and conflicts between nations and within nations. There is anger, abuse, fighting, and disturbances in families, among friends, in schools and work places. There are demands and expectations placed on us. The different personalities and agendas of those around us are often difficult to understand. This time of year it is especially difficult to be peaceful.
Sometimes we need to remove ourselves from situations and settings to relax and find calmness to gain perspective of what is happening and why. We need to seek peace and this may require work on our part. A willingness to listen more than talk in conversations, willingness to compromise where we can ethically and morally do so. Peace, in the world and in our homes and neighborhoods, is a fragile thing it needs caring for and maintenance to keep it alive and well.
The peace we have with ourselves is different. It comes from Jesus. It is an inner peace that transcends outer circumstances and conditions. It is a place within us that cannot be corrupted or removed. It can be moved, though. When we allow outer disturbances, disorder, and confusion to fill us peace sometimes moves into the corners of our heart and it may lay dormant for a time. Peace will also draw up and be hard to find when we become self-centered and lose our focus, losing sight of the epicenter of our foundation, Christ.
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.
When we are too busy, too tired, complacent, self-satisfied or self-righteous peace withers like flowers without water and sunlight. This is when we must stop and take an inventory of our life; where we are, what we are doing, and the why of it all. Usually, we will see that we are busy with busyness. Filling the hours with everything and anything that makes us feel important but has little value. We become weary because we do not stop to rest or get enough sleep. In our busyness there is noise coming from without and within and little if any silence to restore us and our peace.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
We must seek peace when it seems there is none. The Spirit protects our peace but we must nourish it. We must find the time and place where we can be quiet; quiet in solitude, contemplation and prayer. There we will find rest for our minds and bodies and souls. It may seem like an impossible task, but the Spirit will guide us as we seek the peace we have misplaced. He will see that we find it and help us do the work needed to keep it blooming, watered with the Word, and in the Sonlight.
Blessings this day of grace,