peace, be still

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…”  Colossians 1.15

Peace.  The opposite of fear and turmoil, which I feel rule the world today, along with the souls of its inhabitants. We all know the despair of a lack of peace, the constant stirring and aching that never seems still or satisfied.  The storms of fear and restlessness pound on our hearts like the “furious squall” mentioned in the Gospel of Mark.  And it is into this plight that Jesus steps in, voice deep and magnificent, commanding, “Peace, be still.”  What a glorious thing to hear.

And yet, for us, sometimes the wind and the waves don’t stop, and that’s okay, because that’s not the point.  Sometimes His words are meant for us and not the storm, and this reveals a marvelous truth:   our peace is not dependent on our circumstances, but on Christ.  He is our peace.  Like a loving Father holding his child, whispering, “All will be well and all will be well.”  Sometimes the wind is rebuked, and sometimes He calms His child.  Either way, His constant presence is what brings us peace.  What mind-rattling good news that is for us humans who are all too familiar with loneliness and fear.  It is no surprise that the most common command to us from God and angels in the Bible is “Fear not.”  Don’t be afraid, I am with you.

God has been teaching me about His peace the past few weeks.  It has been tough and amazing at the same time.  I can feel his peace growing deeper in my heart, to worrisome and fearful places I didn’t even know were there.  Even in the midst of voices that roar and question in my mind, this relentless stillness calls out from the depths and spreads unexplicable quiet over me like a sudden chill.  Words betray me here, because they are not close to sufficient for carrying this feeling.  Slowly I am learning that His peace is greater than our understanding because He is greater than our understanding.  It is a marvelous thing to learn.

I hope and pray that we all, above the voices and worries that mean us harm, will strive to listen for His voice…and that it will grow so loud that it drowns out the rest:

Peace, be still.

Fear not, for I will never leave you.

I am your peace.

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