It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m home with my boys, enjoying a peaceful, cold, November afternoon. My belly is full and so is my fridge because Grant, Dylan and I spent the entire morning working on our Thanksgiving banquet. Ever since the grandchildren stopped being babies, leftovers at the Dieter Family Thanksgiving dinner became non-existent. Therefore, I have been making a whole meal for us here at home, so I can enjoy the holiday without having to worry about cooking for a few days. This year, the boys were interested in helping with the cooking, so it was very special.
Now, I’m sitting here with joy in my heart and peace in my soul, which brought me back to the book You’re Going to be Okay by Holley Gerth. Today, I wanted to meditate on one of the many wonderful concepts that the author offered in chapter two: You Are Stronger than You Think. In this chapter, she walks through several of God’s Names, but the one that touched me the most was: Jehovah Shalom: The Lord is Peace. (Judg. 6)
Peace… from my perspective, peace is the most sought-after treasure … and in this chapter, I came to the realization that Peace is not a thing, a place or even a state of mind. Peace is a Person.
“While external circumstances may be difficult, it’s the inner turmoil that often wears us down most. We worry. We fret. We lie in bed and stare at the ceiling…We think if things were only different, we wouldn’t be so uptight. But then, when things change, the worry stays-we just switch the focus.” (43)
I read that, and I had to pause…I had to pause because that is so true. I never heard it articulated, but it is completely true in my life. I get done worrying about something I didn’t even need to worry about in the first place, when thoughts of other things that may be bad pop into my head, transforming what should have been a season of peace into a fleeting moment, too short to even appreciate.
And that is because my peace is based on my circumstances. Circumstantial peace is not real. It’s an illusion. It’s unstable too because circumstances change with every breath we take. Therefore, peace cannot be based on anything that could be attained, grasped, purchased, manufactured, manipulated, shaped, controlled, packaged or locked away. Peace is not a thing. Peace is a Person:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
Jesus Himself is Peace. He is the Prince of Peace:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9: 6
He is Peace made into flesh, and He is with us at all times, regardless of our situation or circumstance…He stands with us in quiet, slow, lazy, November afternoons when everything is right with the world, as well as in dark, stormy, frightening nights when the world is at war inside our souls.
Peace is a Person who lives in us, not a thing to be attained.
He is stable. He is strong. He is always with us. And most amazingly of all, He loves us. To whom then, shall I fear?