““I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
A new year is upon us – and I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like it to be – peaceful.
You know. Filled with peace.
But – what is peace after all?
Kinda hard to define, isn’t it?
I mean, it may be easier to think of what peace isn’t, than what it is. We know peace is not active warfare, or a good verbal joust with an irrational customer, or twins with colic. It isn’t a hurricane, or a tsunami, or impending financial ruin. Nor is it a house embroiled in constant bickering, or being served with a lawsuit.
So – what is it then?
Is it the complete removal of anything that can harm or stress or trouble us?
Because if that’s the case, peace will prove incredibly elusive. There will always be something or someone who is determined to block our plans or mess with our schedules or keep us off balance with a curve ball or two.
These beautiful words of Jesus from the book of John describe peace as a gift – not the removal of trouble or conflict, but an interior state of being which can sustain us in the midst of troublesome circumstances.
Imagine the difference that could make.
Peace of mind and heart – no matter what the news headlines are, or what the stock market does, or what the test results say. Peace of mind and heart for that tricky drive home though a blizzard, or for navigating that emotionally draining relationship, or to keep you grounded when you miss that promotion or the bills pile up.
So much to unpack. So much to hold out empty hands and hearts to. So much to seek and find in the start of a new year filled with potential problems.
I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to learn more about this offer of peace from Jesus.
Learn more about peace with me?
Father, this is a bold promise! And how we need peace in our lives, a peace of mind and heart that could keep us steady and strong walking into so much uncertainty. Bless us as we search for more of what this peace You promise means! Amen.