When you hear the word peace, what comes to mind? Do you imagine white, sandy beaches with the sound of waves? Do you think about sitting near a tranquil mountain stream? Do you picture tie-dye t-shirts and peace symbol necklaces? The word peace can conjure up many different thoughts and ideas depending upon your perspective or personal preferences.
During our most recent services, Shannon taught the Biblical meaning of peace is “a serenity and tranquility that comes from trusting in the wisdom and control of God rather than our own understanding.” I vividly remember experiencing this definition of peace when we were in the midst of becoming approved as foster parents.
We decided to enter the world of foster care because of a specific little girl. We wanted to be able to adopt her, if the opportunity ever arose. However, as we went through the approval process, the girl’s biological mother completed the requirements of her case plan and the family was reunified. While on paper this looked good, it was frustrating to know the quality of life she would experience.
Regardless, it was a fact beyond our control and I remember feeling completely at peace about the situation. And I also remember thinking how crazy it was I felt peace given the circumstances. I did not understand how returning to the home where she had been neglected was in her best interest, yet I was able to trust in the wisdom and control of God.
Because I have the Holy Spirit inside of me, I was able to do something impossible. I could have easily let the opposing feelings of worry, anxiety, and fear take over my mind (which is definitely what my personality is prone to do). I am thankful during this season of life I chose to live out the words of Paul:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Choosing to live in peace is just that… a choice. There is no special “Jesus magic” I have as a follower of Christ. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I allow the worry and fear to get the best of me. Thankfully the grace of God is there for me no matter what.
So, what choice are you making?