Who doesn’t love the feeling of peace – the sense of contentedness, free from concern, conflict, and controversy? We love feeling “at peace” but most likely don’t give much thought to how or why we feel at peace, or the source of peace. Even Christians give God’s peace little thought outside times of death and great crises. We might pray for God’s peace when people wait for test results, when loved ones die, or say “Go in peace” when people leave church and the like. But the thought of God’s peace integrated deeply into our lives is rarely if ever contemplated.
Every day things happen that threaten to disrupt, if not totally dismantle any peace we might be experiencing. Yet we should live in God’s peace no matter what is happening around or to us! And I don’t say that haphazardly or without being tested in this truth. As I write about peace, I get plenty of opportunity to practice what I preach. For example, the other day while running errands with my husband, the driver in front of us started to take her right turn and my husband did the same. As he looked left to continue his merge, she changed her mind and stopped. He didn’t. It was just a little bump, a little mark that could most likely be removed easily, but enough for her to be concerned about the “damage”. And of course, most of us know auto body estimates are usually high, often including a bumper replacement because of one little scratch.
How frustrating this can be and how easy it is to step out of feeling the peace of God and into the chaos and irritation caused by one little mistake. Not knowing how much money it will take to cover this blunder carries with it the potential to steal our peace while we wait. But as with most everything in life, we have a choice; we can choose to complain and worry or we can choose to trust God, soak in His assurances, and experience His peace no matter the material cost! The thing is, we must intentionally make the right choice or risk alienating ourselves from the peace He has given us! Living in His peace is not dependent on waiting for anyone or anything to “settle down” or “line up” properly in our lives. It IS dependent on positioning our minds to experience it continuously.
When I think about God’s peace it just doesn’t make sense. There is no good reason to experience peace when thinking about throwing money away to fix a scratch or watch insurance rates climb. There is no good reason to experience peace when disease strikes, unemployment hits, children wander away, finances dwindle, or relationships get complicated. But when we realize our inability to make sense of it opens us to His ability to lavish us with the revelation of His peace, we stop trying to make sense of it and learn to acknowledge and live in it.
God showed me how to experience His peace 24/7, by illustrating stitching and weaving in their simplest forms. Stitching is the joining together of two pieces of material while weaving is actually “creating fabric”. Stitching is certainly useful for mending, decorating, and making clothes or other items but compare it with weaving, the process of creating fabric or cloth by interlacing threads or strands and you can sense the disparity. Then we also note a difference in strength and durability between the two. Woven fabric is difficult to undo without altering the entire piece while stitching is easily undone without affecting the appearance. (Seamstresses and sewers – don’t be haters! You do lovely work just like weavers! It’s just the basic “concept” I’m addressing)
Moving this model then from fabric to God’s peace, we can say it is woven into our lives not simply stitched to them. God doesn’t simply attach His peace to us nor does He use it to mend our brokenness. He actually weaves it into our existence so it creates in us an ever-present sense of strength and durability that cannot be easily undone without affecting our entire being. This reveals the profundity inherent in God’s peace as it literally touches every aspect of who we are. When God formed us in our mother’s wombs, His peace was woven into the fabric of our being. We are not merely cloaked in His peace, it is not an additive, but we are created in it! This enables us to let the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
We access His peace within by keeping our minds set on Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Here’s where the weaving/stitching concept helps us out. If we KNOW God’s peace is already woven into us, we know we can get access to it because it is already WITHIN. We are not looking for it somewhere OUT THERE. We don’t need to try so hard to keep our minds stayed on the Lord because He is in us and is Lord of our lives, having created and now keeping us in perfect peace. We can only “keep” things we already have! He keeps us in perfect peace because we already have His peace woven into us. It is easy to trust Him and stay focused on Him when we know we already have Him! Knowing He keeps us in perfect peace frees us from looking elsewhere for it, waiting for life to settle down so we can feel it, or hoping to experience it. It is time for us not to just pray for His peace, but to believe we already have it, and then act like it!
The next time you don’t feel “at peace” stay right where you are and remember it is within you, because God is in you. Don’t try to create a state of peace. Don’t try to find it, stitch it into your life, or ask God to give you His peace. He already did! John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Think about God weaving His peace into every fiber of your being when He formed you. Let your mind be renewed as you meditate on your Prince of Peace, Jesus, and then let His peace that passes your understanding guard your heart and mind in Him. Your life will never be the same as He keeps you in the perfect peace in which He created you!