Peace is powerful. It maybe something for us to reach for, to fight for as a community, but it is also deeply personal. Jesus said, “let not your hearts be troubled, don’t be afraid. Peace I give to you; my peace I leave with you.” He spoke this to the disciples as they were about to head into a time of incredible turmoil. To face turmoil and over come obstacles in our lives, peace is essential.
Peace is confidence, it is trust, it is stability. Jesus went to the Father for everything, that was where his peace was derived from. That was the peace he wanted to leave with us, a confidence in the Father that even the storms of life could not shake. A confidence found in the Father. As we carry confidence into our struggles, we will be able to navigate back into peaceful waters. There is still struggle and turmoil, and we still have to confront the obstacles, but peace says we can do that without anxiety or despair.
Peace is not everybody getting along. It is being ok with controversy, being ok with working it out together.
Paul compares peace to shoes. Our measure of peace will determine the type of terrain we can traverse. It’s hard to walk on gravel too fast in your bare feet, with shoes on, you can run. A greater peace will allow us to walk farther with the Lord, through life. We all need to rest, to stop and take a break, to allow our peace to recover, to enjoy calm times. But there will be moments in our lives where we don’t have the luxury of stopping, and our peace will be required to persevere. Because sometimes it’s not just gravel we’re walking on, but live coals, and it may be a while before we find relief from the heat.
In times of peace, it is an opportunity to delve deeper, to root ourselves in the source of our peace.
Peace is powerful. It not only allows us to survive, but to thrive in hardship. It is contagious; if we hang onto peace, what is inside of us will be produced around us. It is people that hang onto peace in themselves that allow peace to be realized in the world.