[Jesus said,] â€œPeace 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.â€ John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace is the place where there is calm and quiet. It is a safe and secure place. It is a place where I know faith, trust, and hope. It is not easy to find that place with everything that goes on in my world. What must I do to gain access into the place of peace?
* Move close to God. That seems straight forward and simple enough. But for me, the important point is consistency. When I consistently spend time with God, then my â€˜peace muscleâ€™ gets strong. My time with God cannot be hurried. I must choose time to pray and read Godâ€™s word. That also keeps the consistency from becoming just a part of a religious checklist. I must also take the time to be quiet and still and just â€“ listen. In those periods I get to know God.
* Make choices and set my priorities. Strangely enough, it took me many years to realize that I can NOT do everything. Even though I would say that I spend my time doing â€˜goodâ€™ things, I do not always listen to God directing me to do the His things. Doing tasks that are not on Godâ€™s list is just as disobedient as not doing tasks that are on His list! When I keep my priorities straight then it is easier to be obedient to the God-tasks because they will fall into those priorities. For me, the priorities I have set: #1: my relationship with God (whatever builds that), #2: my relationship with my family, beginning with my husband and then my children and grandchildren, my brother and sisters-in-law, etc., and #3: my life, including my career, my physical health, etc.
* Embrace forgiveness. Let go of the disappointments that people and circumstances will bring my way. People do not always treat me well and life is not fair. There it is! Only God himself knows every sword that has pierced my heart. He is my protector and the One that is always there to pour out His grace that is sufficient for whatever the situation and to whoever I need to extend forgiveness.
God desires that my life not be one of chaos and confusion. He wants my life filled with His peace and His love and that assurance that I know â€“ that I know â€“ that I know â€“ that He is there. I can allow my Lord to control my life; set my priorities; and show me the peace that truly does pass all my understanding. (Philippians 4) For now it is a journey of peace not a destination. It is a journey that I walk with my Lord.