“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
“That one is pretty dark,” I remarked.
He hardly looked up.
“No, really. There are a lot of clouds now. I think we should get going, don’t you?”
He didn’t seem fazed.
I, however, the lily-livered-chicken-feathered paddler, could sense trouble brewing in the form of wave action, and I wanted to get back to terra firma pronto.
Not that we weren’t already on terra firma. We had been enjoying a delightful afternoon on a delightful deserted island smack in the middle of a delightful mountain lake which was the most delightful shade of turquoise you could possibly imagine.
But we had a solid paddle ahead of us to get back to the mainland, and I’ve experienced the unpredictable nature of mountain weather enough to know how quickly water that looks like idyllic tranquil glass can be churned into a riotous frothing inferno in a matter of minutes.
I don’t like wild waves.
I don’t like hard paddles against the wind.
I really don’t like hard paddles against the wind in wild waves on bottomless lakes in the wilderness.
The peaceful sensations which moments before had nearly lulled me into an afternoon snooze were gone.
Just like that, I had lost my peace.
Which is why I am really pondering this personal prayer from the book of 2 Thessalonians.
Written in an era of profoundly drastic and deadly persecution against anyone who professed faith in Jesus, these words are worth pondering, don’t you think? Because these original readers were dealing, not with mere wind and clouds and potential waves to paddle against, but men in high places who were determined to confiscate their belongings, drive them from homes and businesses, imprison and torture them, or even put them to death.
The threat and struggle and stress would have been tremendous.
Yet the promise is peace – a peace from heaven, with the power to keep those precious hard-pressed people peaceful at all times.
And in every situation.
That’s a promise that packs a punch.
Fast forward through the millennia to today.
What waves are you navigating?
What clouds are threatening to overtake you?
What do you do when your shoulders burn with the effort of keeping yourself afloat?
I don’t know about you, but a dose of peace that would keep me calm at all times and in every situation wood be a welcome thing.
I have a lot to learn about peace. I must admit, I am a ‘shout first and remember peace later’ kinda gal.
But I’d sure like to figure it out. And it would be lovely if 2022 was the year to do just that.
Deliberately seek this level of peace with me?
Father, You are a calm and peaceful Being. Help us to navigate the storms of life by relying on the peace You promised to us. Teach us how to lean into this peace at all times, and in every circumstance. Amen.