How long has it been since you have tasted the full and deep measure of God’s peace? And more importantly, do you even begin to comprehend the difference between this world’s packaging of peace and the Father’s gifting of peace? What does it mean to you that the God of all creation gives in accordance to his “Godness” and not according to a temporal standard that, at best, is momentary and shallow?
We take vacations in search of peace, only to return with frazzled nerves and a mounting credit card. We turn on the television as a way of escaping the pressures of the current, only to be bombarded with the harsh assaults by an industry that thrives on chaos and conflict. We labor our cause for peace through political points of view, only to walk away with a growing dislike for our contemporaries who don’t view the world through similar lenses.
We take to our self-soothing through…
drugs…prescribed and otherwise
internet and email
sexual addictions…and the entertaining of thoughts therein
…all manner of creature comforts that, perhaps, breathe an initial breath of peace but in the end leave us void of any deep and lasting portion.
We want peace for our journeys, but somewhere along the road, we have bought into the lie that peace can be purchased. It is a good lie because it’s working on most of us. But peace that comes with a price tag is simply a masking for the enemy’s offering of bondage. Satan’s objective is to keep us searching…to keep us in a perpetual stage of running toward a goal that he knows can never be achieved through our good intentions or a bulging bank account. Satan’s offer of peace serves on the same platter as it did for the disciples over 2000 years ago.
The world’s promise of peace may have walked differently back then, but it still measured the same.
Worldly and lacking.
But then Jesus interrupted the scene with an alternative—an offering of his own portion of peace. It was a peace that extended far beyond the customary greeting and conversational benediction of their vernacular. It was a “penetrating through the doors” kind of peace that poured deep with an extended reach toward their forever.
When Jesus told his followers about his soon and coming departure, undoubtedly their hearts were a flurry with confusion and grief. It is the same for us. Anytime we perceive our Jesus to be absent from our “routine and normal” we, too, are prone to our flurry and our worry until we can no longer find the thread of peace that links us back to our faith. It may only be momentary, but unless our peace is anchored within the truth of Jesus’ offering of peace, our lingering chaos lasts long and hard and keeps us from experiencing the immediate intention of a Father’s gift.
The disciples were at a distinct disadvantage, although we often think of them as more blessed for having walked and talked with Jesus and for being the front row witnesses of his miraculous. No, in that moment of hearing Jesus’ forecast concerning his future, their troubled hearts didn’t have the benefit of the one thing that we now possess.
Hindsight. A backward glance into sacred history as we now know it. We see Jesus’ cycle of life and understand the reasons for his cross. We are the benefactors of such a gift. But when Christ spoke to the disciples concerning his death and his resurrection, their momentary pain kept them shackled to the cross…to their chaos and confusion…instead of pushing them ahead to vision the promise of their forever.
And even though we have the documented benefit of history, even though we’ve seen the working out of Calvary’s pouring grace and an Easter’s crowning resurrection and a Pentecost’s promised revival, even though we know it all to be true in the deepest marrow of our being, we still live as a people in search of God’s peace.
I’ve got some good news for you today. The search is over. God’s peace is here. His name is Jesus, and he lives in each one of us through the witness and power of his Holy Spirit. Love’s redeeming work was done over 2000 years ago, and the overflow from that sacred grace is a lasting peace. Never to be purchased. Never to be contrived or managed or fit into a busy schedule as needed, but rather to simply be received and to be lived. To be understood and to be treasured.
You need not go to the market in search for the seemingly unattainable. If you know Jesus to be your Savior, then you contain within you the absolute attainable. Not because you are deserving, but simply because you are the penchant of your Father’s heart, and his lasting and enduring peace is the sacred root that will grow you toward your forever.
Our Father does not give to us as the world gives. He gives better. More than the eye can see. More than the ear can hear. More than the mind can conceive. And sometimes, more than our faith can believe. God’s immeasurably more will always trump the seen and the measurable. The gifts from our Father’s hands are the seeding of our tomorrow. He gives with the future in mind. He gives gifts that have eternal reach because eternity is his to give, and Peace is ours to live.
Not just when life breathes good, but when life breathes heavy and threatens our very existence. Peace is our very good portion. Our constant and our abiding gift from heaven until we reach the shores of our forever and see our Peace, face to face.
Who can fathom the glorious riches of our then…of our now?! I can, and thus I pray,
Jesus, you are my Peace. Keep me to the road of Peace. Harbor my thoughts in the depth of your constant and abiding Peace who lives within. When I am tempted to search elsewhere…to pull out the wallet and to purchase peace at the going rate…drop me to my knees in thankfulness for the price that has already been paid on my behalf for your gift of lasting peace. Walk through the door of my heart, Lord, each and every day and speak your words of Peace over my life. Give according to your “Godness” and not according to my want, for my want will always fall short of your immeasurably more. And you my Father, have made me for more; thus, I bow to receive my portion from your hand his day. Amen.
For a more in-depth look at God’s concept of peace, please take time to read John 14. May God bless the reading and the pondering of his word as only he can. Shalom!
Copyright © August 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.