Peace: Quietness. Tranquility. Stillness. Silence. Calm.
Appealing words don’t you think? After a long day at work or hours pouring over books, sitting in sweet silence. Closing the door on busyness, stress and pressure and sinking deep into relaxation.
If only it really worked like that.
For so long, peace for me has been something I can create or somewhere I can go. I run away from stress, busyness, thoughts and feelings and try to hide behind a painting project or a holiday.
No matter where we find ourselves in life, there will probably be something we want to run from. Something we’re either struggling with or unsure of how to tackle, there will always be something we’d rather avoid or wish we didn’t have responsibility for. We can feel the pressure of these things and just want to throw our hands up and beg for some peace and quiet.
18 months ago, I would naively book time off work, maybe spend it in bed, maybe spend it walking around my favourite city drinking coffee and reading books, maybe I’d book a weekend away. Then I’d expect whatever I’d been worrying about to have gone away by the time I got back to the 9-5 office life. And sure enough, the thing that had me worried was still there, and I wasn’t feeling peaceful.
What I’ve come to understand (and really struggle with) is that peace isn’t simply resting and peace isn’t even a place. Peace isn’t sitting in my back garden painting. Peace isn’t a 7 day all-inclusive holiday. Peace is a person and his name is Jesus (Isaiah 9:6).
It got me thinking about the friends in my life who I just feel better after being around them. Do you know what I mean? You just feel great when you’re with them, they bring out your best and you feel totally relaxed, totally yourself around them.
That’s what Jesus is like. He is the embodiment of peace and he is my friend!
Sometimes those things we want to run from, things we avoid or struggle with, don’t go away. Sometimes it feels like they don’t change or get worse. But Jesus is always around. He’s that friend that we can come home to at the end of everyday and be completely honest with. He is that friend we can ask to be with us when we’re going through something tough.
Peace is Jesus’ gift to us. When he is about to leave the disciples he says to them: “Peace I leave with you my peace I give to you…” (John 14v27). It’s the one thing he doesn’t want us to be without.
Peace doesn’t come when I distract myself from my stuff. Peace truly comes when I trust God with my stuff. When I say, “God I need you in this, please be with me.”
A great leader I know said this recently: “Trust is the work. Peace is the reward.” I could not say it better myself.
Love Georgia x