My Take on Defining Peace
Peace. This singular word has been reverberating in my ears for about seven years and has become my championed reality. I wholeheartedly embrace peace and know it can be attained. With that in mind, I’m starting a series on PEACE for the month of September. The series will serve a few purposes, 1) Clarify my thoughts and experiences 2) Imprint these truths even deeper on my heart and, 3) Hopefully inspire, or at least intrigue, you to begin your own study of peace.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
What is peace?
Much like the subtle difference between fleeting happiness and unshakable joy, peace can be fully present amidst turmoil, chaos, screaming children, and piles of laundry. It is a sense of calm, an open-handed free flow of confidence in the Lord that everything will work out; that God is near, He is in control, and He is good. Likewise, peace can be absent from even the quietest of environments. It has so much more to do with the inner workings of your soul – your thoughts, your emotions, and your will – and far less to do with any external circumstances.
The process of gaining peace requires trust and dependence on God. It’s a shift in thinking and in countenance that says, “I have done what I can do” and even despite all of me you are the One making my paths straight and sure.
Free flow confidence in the Lord
Peace means no fear of man.
It doesn’t matter what others may think of me because I know who the Father says I am.
Peace means no control issues or power struggles.
The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress. He will fight for me, defend me, and keep me.
Peace means turning down requests asked of you.
I am your confidence. Your worth and value is in being My child.
Peace means resting.
Be still and know that I am God.
Peace means moving when He says move.
Peace is hearing the voice of God and walking in the assurance of that direction.
Why is peace a worthy pursuit?
I love this definition of peace: “Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations.” Sign me up! I want that! The peace of God is worthwhile because your level of peace directly correlates to the harmony in your relationships. It is the vast difference between reacting and responding. When you’re at peace, you have the clear-headedness, quiet strength, and confidence to allow others to misunderstand, vent, accuse, and disagree without your self-worth being questioned. You don’t have to become unglued at the smallest infraction or explode when you’ve been treated unjustly.
There are still plenty of situations that cause me to become unglued, both internally and externally. Somehow, my firstborn has the manual on that one. 😉 But, seriously, when my eyes were open to the possibilities of walking out my days in perfect peace – not becoming undone or knocked over by one hurdle after another, I couldn’t help but drink it in and ask for more. So many of my personal struggles are on this very subject. Choosing to stand for peace when my natural tendencies pull me toward busyness, striving, anxiousness, and worry.
“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” Isaiah 32:17
A picture I envision when thinking of peace is a sleeping baby. My plump Charis girl with a full belly, happy heart, comfy clothes, her beloved softy blankets, and “Peaceful Piano” music playing. We walk in her room at bedtime with all her cues for sleep – dim lights, fan, piano music – and she knows the drill. She instinctively relaxes, literally dropping her head and leaning way back in our arms until she is laid in her crib. With eyes closed, she stretches her full length and then curls up on her side, already breathing heavy and at total peace.
We are offered that kind of relaxation. We have the mind of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will continue the PEACE series and disclose more of my history and profound encounter with peace. We’ll call it the week that transformed my life and turned my thinking upside down.