“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Most of us would agree that we want to live in harmony and order with each other, the world around us and within ourselves. We tend to manage well enough with the golden rule that seems to govern society, but that peace is such a fragile thing. It is so quickly destroyed by the slightest offense, to the point of becoming a distant memory in some areas of the world. We also want harmony within ourselves, but is so easily disrupted even hidden in my own heart, by the noise of my own thoughts and inner critic that I only seem to experience it when I finally lock myself behind a door and make strife stay away from me. Instead of true peace, I settle for something else: Distraction and Numbness. There are a number of mediums available, from binge watching television to drinking or using drugs but my need for peace is such that I will do whatever I need to to get as close as I can.
Jesus seemed to understand our need for peace, and even our fear that we wouldn’t be able to get it. He offered a peace unlike that of the world. The peace I experience from the world is based on my circumstances and on the agreement of others. His peace doesn’t seem to be affected by circumstance, displayed in his not understanding why the disciples were so upset when their boat was caught in a storm and Jesus was sleeping through it.* It is called a peace that transcends understanding, and today, we open our numb and distracted hearts to the true peace of God.
Where are you using distraction and numbness in place of real peace in your life?
Are you willing to trade distraction and numbness for true peace, which endures circumstances, as a guard for your heart and mind?
Jesus, my peace is so fragile, so easily disrupted that I am weary of both trying to hang onto it and trying to manufacture it. I confess that I have settled for distraction and numbness because true peace has seemed too difficult to attain. I receive Your offer for a different kind of peace, one unphased by circumstance, and able to bear offense. Help me to trust it as true, even when I don’t understand it and let me be a conduit of true peace for others. Amen.