Cultivating peace in our lives
When is the last time you sat alone in a quiet place? No telephone. No noise from the stereo or television. No interruptions from the children. Sounds like an impossibility, doesn't it?
Too often in our pursuit of the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous, most of us end up with the Lifestyle of the Rushed and Fatigued. Our mind is seldom quiet. It's hard to be still.
Life is just too noisy and we are too busy for reflection in a quiet place. Yet a quiet place is what we need to quiet our mind. A quiet mind fosters inner peace. That's why inner peace is a rare and precious commodity these days.
And what about when someone you once loved betrays you? Isn't your peace of mind one of the first things to go? Your brain turns on those tapes of "what might have been." You lie wake at night wondering if there wasn't "one more thing I could have done." You sort, resort and try to understand what went wrong. Your chest is heavy. Your heart is a flutter. Peaceful is the last thing you "feel."
In times like these, your Creator longs to bathe your mind in peace. But God's peace is different than the world view. It is not an absence of conflict or problems. It's not about "give-up" or "give-in." Eternal peace is harmony of heart, mind and soul even in the midst of conflict or circumstances beyond our control. It is "a knowing" that God understands what you are going through, is there with you, and has everything under control.
So...how do we cultivate peace? Mind-over-matter gurus tell us to "Think Peace." Others advise "positive thinking," as if it's possible to will peace into existence. But what do we do when things happen to us that we can't change? Or fix. Or figure out. Maybe we aren't suppose to. Perhaps what really matters is the discovery that inner peace doesn't suddenly appear after we possess all the right things, when we're with the right person or live in the right place. Eternal peace is a presence.
God promises that He is present with us-whatever happens. He does not promise that He will remove our circumstances or take us out of them or that our life will be conflict free. He never guarantees that people in our lives will always think well of us or make choices that include us.
Whatever you face right now, wherever you are, reflect on Psalms 46:10--"Be still and know that I am God." The New American Standard Translation (Open Bible Expanded Edition) translates that verse this way: "Cease striving (let go) and know that I am God." Rest in your Creator's love for you. Become intimately acquainted by spending quiet time in His presence. Peace sprouts in sacred ground when you least expect it. © 1999 by Kari West
Verses and quotes on peace
I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace
I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled
or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will
come back to you again.
ME DOWN, LORD
by Willard A. Peterson
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations--of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
peace is more wonderful than our human mind can comprehend. God's
peace will guard our hearts and minds.
do not want the peace which passeth understanding; I want the understanding
which bringeth peace.
will keep us in perfect peace if we trust him and fix our thoughts
we dignify with the name of peace is really only a short truce,
in accordance with which the weaker party renounces his claims,
whether just or unjust, until such time as he can find an opportunity
of asserting them with the sword.
--Vauvenargues in 1746
will give us peace.
--Leviticus 26:6 and John 14:27