Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Person Named Peace

I am writing this from beautiful Half Moon Bay in northern California where I’ve accompanied my husband on a business trip. At the moment, I’m enjoying breakfast in my hotel room with a spectacular view of the Pacific. Through the open window I can feel the ocean breeze and hear the rhythmic crash of waves on the rocky shore below. I took a picture to try and capture the moment for you, but you know how hard it can be to do it justice on an iPhone:

I have nowhere I need to be. No stressful to-do list to follow, no packed schedule bearing down on me. I think I can literally feel my blood pressure falling. The longer I sit here, the more relaxed I feel.

In short, I am at peace.

But the reason I’m blogging about this is because of what just happened while I was sitting here.

A moment ago as I sat looking out the window, I began to pray - I say “pray,” but it was really more of a casual conversation with God in which I’m telling Him how much I’m enjoying His pretty ocean and thanking Him for inventing coffee and bacon. All of a sudden, the peace I had been feeling became palpable. It was a peace that went way beyond quiet solitude. It was a peace that invaded my soul and filled up my senses to the point that my surroundings didn’t even matter anymore. It took me a second to understand what was going on, but then the realization hit me: I was experiencing the presence of God. I was communing with the Prince of Peace himself.

And I was reminded of a verse in Micah where God says that He literally is our peace:
“He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely,
for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
And he will be their peace.”
(Micah 5:4-5)

Maybe true peace is not just the absence of stress or conflict, but the presence of God.

So now it dawns on me – if true peace is not so much based on external circumstances but more on an awareness of God’s presence, then I can experience peace anywhere, anytime. If He is our peace, then it doesn’t matter whether I’m sitting next to the ocean or in a traffic jam on the freeway. He’s there just the same. I can simply invite Him into my moment, and He will answer.

For He is our peace.

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