This article was written by my good friend, E. Natalie Johnson. This and other excellent entries appear on her site. Check it out at: http://www.cedarchest.blogspot.com
Where Is Peace?
2005. E. Natalie Johnson
P eace is found when I place
E very worry
A nd fear into
E verlasting arms and let Him carry them instead.
Blue Light At Dusk. January 2005. photo by E. Natalie Johnson.
I don't fully understand why presenting concerns to God in this way brings peace. I just know that when I give my burdens to Him, I experience His peace which transcends all human understanding.
"It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.", says Peterson in The Message (Philippians 4).
When I was going through the tumultuous teen years, I referred again and again to a little quote written inside the cover of my bible..."When Christ is at the center of my life, the circumference will take care of itself". Jesus put it another way..."seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all the things we need to live will be added to our life as well." (Matthew 6)
Like the Psalmist we can know that even when we're surrounded by trouble, God is walking through it with us. Reach out and take hold of the Heavenly Father's outstretched hand and be filled with His peace.
Like Joshua of old, we can be strong and courageous knowing that the same Almighty God will be with us, will not fail us, and will not forsake us.
Where is peace? Peace is in the very character of God revealed to us by His Spirit. It is produced in our life when we abide in Christ. It is tapping into His strength. I am like a branch connected to a life-giving vine ~ a branch dripping with fruit. The fruit of peace. Apart from abiding in Christ, disconnected from the True Vine, there is no peace. No matter how I try to 'grow it' on my own.
Hannah Whitall Smith once wrote, "It is not a question of acquaintance with ourselves, or of knowing what we are, or what we do, or what we feel; it is simply and only a question of becoming acquainted with God, and getting to know what He is, and what He does, and what He feels. Comfort and peace can never come from anything we know about ourselves, but only and always from what we know about Him."(Hannah Whitall Smith, The God of All Comfort.)
God is the source of real peace. There's no where else to look.