“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
I was reading my devotional yesterday, which primarily centered upon how we seek and find peace in our lives. I realized how often I can let myself be distracted by some version of peace other than God’s peace. It seems to me there are several ways people intentionally and unintentionally seek peace in their lives.
Marketing and products offer versions of peace. I believe we can all agree a product may be able to alleviate pain, make life simpler, even make us forget for a while. Things like these are mere shadows of the real thing, not the same thing as having peace.
Another approach to peace involves trying to control the environment around us. In the devotional, the author used an example of a person seeking peace via escape from a busy world to “the pastoral life” (think small house, garden, few animals, and people leave you alone). While some measure of peace may be found in the “pastoral life,” a person who tries to control their environment realizes in short order other people, nature or animals do not participate in his or her version of peace. The person seeking to control their environment to find peace is always fighting to either protect their version of peace or prevent people from entering it who may disturb them. This is potentially the highest version of peace one may find in the secular mode of living.
For Paul’s words in Philippians 4 to become real, one must realize circumstances have absolutely nothing to do with God’s peace residing in our souls. When we are in the busy times of life, we may think this is the last place the peace of God may be found. God’s presence never abandons us; rather it is the chaos we carry inside of us which makes us feel isolated from God. I have discovered: if we learn to live in constant fellowship with God, we soon realize God is with us always. If we lean into God in the busiest of times we soon become aware God’s peace which transcends all understanding. We cannot control it, we can only participate in it.
If we know God’s peace may be in our hearts in the most chaotic of times, the world ceases to be a threatening place. Circumstances outside our control or understanding pose not threat. We know the peace of God… the world cannot take away what it did not give.
In Christ,Chris Yost [email protected]