Peace is the presence of Jesus.
BY JENNIFER J. HOLT
BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP. Every morning begins the same way with a rousing alarm and a long list of things to do. I try to be a planner, packing my family’s lunches the night before and getting out what we’re going to wear before bed, yet somehow getting my kindergartner, Sam, and me to school on time can be an impossible task.
In typical Monday-morning style, with a coffee stain on my favorite pair of khakis and a Toy Story band-aid covering the shaving cut on my ankle, I took a deep breath when we finally got in the car about 7:30. Strapping on my seatbelt and backing out of the driveway, Sam was complaining about my musical selection when I saw blue flashing lights in my rearview mirror. In disbelief I pulled over, approximately 400 yards from my front door. One of our revered men in blue shared the bad news that I had not come to a complete stop at the sign that’s literally in front of my house. Another Monday had begun, and peace was the farthest thought from my mind.
The origin of peace is God Himself, and without Him at the center of our lives, we will never experience true peace.
In the midst of the chaos of our day-to-day lives, it’s difficult to slow down long enough to think about peace. Our minds are cluttered with the lists of things we need to accomplish and the places we’re supposed to be. If peace is the absence of busyness, then many of us may never find it. We steal pieces of peace whenever we can quiet our minds from the daily grind.
Peace is not the absence of to-do lists, appointments, and responsibilities. It isn’t the absence of a cell phone signal and Internet connectivity. Instead, it’s the presence of our Lord. Peace is the deliberate adjustment of our lives to the will of God. When we are aligned to His purpose, then and only then will we experience true peace that passes understanding.
Think of a time in our family’s daily routine or a specific situation in which we lack peace. How can we give that over to God and trust Him to bring peace? Do we make a “complete stop” with God each day or roll through those moments meant for peace?
The Bible tells us in Matthew 8 that when Jesus saw a crowd growing, He instructed His disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the lake. Before very long, a storm blew up and the wind and waves were crashing on the sides of the boat. Jesus was in the rear of the boat, fast asleep. In fear, His disciples awakened Him, begging and pleading, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” (v. 25). Jesus calmed the wind and the seas with only one word. He rebuked the disciples for being afraid, reminding them that they were with the Master of the seas, and there was no reason to be afraid. The origin of peace is God Himself, and without Him at the center of our lives, we will never experience true peace.
Maintaining peace in our hearts and minds requires constant reliance on God and His Word. We must keep our minds focused on things above (Philippians 4:8-9) and be diligent in prayer (vv. 6-7). God can give peace as easily as He can send rain or cause the sun to set. His strength is a storehouse of peacefulness just waiting for us to claim it.
Where does our family seek to find peace? There is only one true source, our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s take this opportunity to witness to family members who do not know Jesus.
Memorizing Scripture is a great reminder of God’s promises. Post each week’s verse on your refrigerator. Talk about the verse at mealtimes. Encourage one another with it each week.
- Week 1: “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.” Isaiah 26:3
- Week 2: “The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9
- Week 3: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
- Week 4: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27
Jennifer J. Holt is a freelance writer and gifted consulting teacher from Franklin, Tenn. She is grateful for the peace she finds at her family’s lake house in N.C. and the peace Christ provides her daily as she trusts in His perfect plans for her life and family.
This article originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Home Life. Subscribe