I thought I was pretty rooted and grounded in the concept of peace. I’ve had lots of practice knowing peace in the midst of chaos. So when the world started looking different, I didn’t lose my peace. Covid didn’t give me my peace, so it couldn’t take it away. When rioting broke out in my city I was sad, but I didn’t lose my peace. But, I found my breaking point with peace. When my kids went back to school…AKA I had to learn how to do virtual school and teletherapy with them…my peace went right out the window. No really. It flew out the window so fast that all I could do was curl up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor and beg God for mercy. That left me open and vulnerable to the accuser. And OOOOOOOOHHHHH did he accuse.
“You say you know God but you abandon the hope that you proclaim the minute life gets hard. You don’t know Him. If you loved Him you would know His peace. Yet here you are, reduced to a crying baby. Not much of a General, are you?”
How did I get here? It was probably the slow fade of replacing time in Gods presence with time in front of Zoom. The demands on me and my time because of virtual learning had sucked the very life juice out of me. There was no time for intimacy with My Father. I knew that I needed to take back my time with My Father at all cost. It was there that God prompted me to examine that very peace that was in question.
What is peace?
Why is it gone?
How could I get it back?
This is the journey that He is taking me on with peace. I am learning this right now and learning to walk this out in small steps taken with shaky legs. I feel like Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She had fins all her life. Suddenly she had legs and had to learn to stand on them and begin taking steps. Her legs trembled too. But if Ariel can do it so can I! God is giving me revelation, and I am learning to walk in it. Here is some of what He is showing me…
Romans 5:1 tells us that we are at peace with God through Christ Jesus. That is now. Because of Jesus we are at peace with God. Not just that, but The Prince of Peace (Jesus) lives in us! The more we are aware of the Prince of Peace inside of us, the more our internal reality is one of peace. We cant get more peace. It was already given to us (John 14:27). However, we can walk in greater reality and awareness of what we already have. It is not peace that increases, but the reality of that peace that increases.
Peace isn’t the absence of something. It is presence of someone.
We don’t simply have peace because we do not have pain, conflict, suffering, etc. We have peace because the Prince of Peace is in us and present with us. Therefore we have the ability to have an internal atmosphere of peace in spite of an external atmosphere of turmoil. When our internal reality of peace is greater than the external reality of chaos, we can actually release the peace of Christ into the environment around us and shift atmospheres.
I know this because I watch my husband do this all the time. When he comes home from work every conflict, agenda, anxiety, or issue suddenly falls flat. My entire family walks in peace because the father is in the house.
We have the ability to release more than just the feeling of peace. The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom”. I cant begin to understand Hebrew. It is super difficult for me. However, the Hebrew equivelant to the archaic definition of Shalom is “The spirit that destroys chaos”. Peace is much more than a peaceful feeling! When released, it has the power to destroy the chaos in a person and an an atmosphere!
Jesus was our example. In Luke 8:22-25 we find a great story where Jesus released peace and shifted the atmosphere. Jesus was in a boat with His disciples. He had been preaching all day and was tired. So, He fell asleep in the bottom of the boat. While He was sleeping, a storm came up.
This is how I see it going down… Peter was a bit of a loose cannon. I bet he began panicking and asking John (the mature one in the group) where the life jackets were. John didn’t know he was responsible for remembering to pack the life jackets. He just brought the fishing gear and Luke brought the medical supplies. The waves got bigger and so did their fear. The disciples began yelling at each other and straight panicking, but the wind was so fast and furious that it drown out their accusations.
They began shouting “Where is Jesus?”. John had probably left him back on shore with the life jackets. But, no! There He was, sleeping through all of the chaos. Both the internal storm of the disciples and the actual external storm raged around Him, yet He slept. He was at perfect peace. When the disciples woke him up He simply rebuked all of the storms.
My take away from this…
We will never have peace in a storm that we are not comfortable sleeping through. When our internal reality of peace is greater than the external storm, we sleep through it.
If Jesus was my example, than why was I in the fetal position begging for mercy? There was no sleep. Period. Especially there was no sleeping in the pandemic virtual schooling storm. My external reality was greater than my internal reality. I had reduced myself to a cat chasing its tail. Around and around I went trying to catch peace, when really I already had it attached to me. I just needed some time in the presence of The Prince of Peace.
It is from that position that my realities are beginning to shift. I’m going after this thing. I long to have my internal reality of peace be so abundant that I can walk in to a room and diffuse peace. I would like to walk the streets of DC and Chicago and just diffuse peace. I have a friend in Australia doing that very thing right now.
Will you take this journey with me? Maybe we can release so much shalom into our world that the worldwide atmosphere reflects our internal reality of peace.