Friday, May 7, 2010

Peace Redefined

Webster's Dictionary defines peace as 'a state of tranquility; absence of war; a pact to end a war; freedom from disorderly disturbances; freedom from fears or worries.

Over the past couple of weeks I've asked other women to describe what peace means to them. "Freedom from chaos." "No anxiety." "No stress." "Calm." "Freedom from worrying." These are a few of their answers.

Peace, to me, is all of these and so much more. An ability to float above the chaos and storms of life - kind of like when you are flying high above the clouds, the sun ablaze while a thunderstorm rages below.

We tend to think of peace as being freedom from anything that causes us stress, worry, fear, anxiety, trouble. You know, all those 'negative' things! All those things that interupt our daily lives and rob us of peace as we define it.

When Jesus promised us that He will give us peace, did He mean that He would eliminate all of those peace-robbing circumstances and people from our lives? Of course not!

So how do we let Him redefine peace as it applies to our lives?

We start by remembering that He is always with us, ready to replace our anxiety or fear with His peace. He is only a prayer, a breath, a heartbeat away. I don't know about you, but I allow the peace-robbing circumstances to get an upperhand way too many times. Most of the time when that happens, it is because I have rushed into my day without surrendering it to Him. Sometimes, without even thinking about Him. I wake up and my Type A personality brain kicks in with the 'to-do' list and the next thing I know I am rushing out the door, late for work (again!). Then life happens and the next thing I know I am in the middle of an exasperating situation, reacting with less than a peaceful attitude.

What a difference it makes when I spend a few moments with Him, giving my agenda to Him and asking Him for wisdom to live out His plan for my day. Then when life happens and my natural response would be to rip into a "how can you be so...." speech when someone irritates me, I instead respond to His prompting to respond with love. In her book, "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl", Lysa Terkeurst writes "When I take the time to meet with Jesus each morning, I am prepared to face life with much more peace than if I just rush into my day without Him. Because God is able to stand in my yesterday, today, and tomorrow, He knows things and sees things for which I need to be prepared." (p. 63, "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, copyright 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst, Zondervan
To find out more about Lysa and her ministry, visit her at

And that, my friends, is how God wants to give us the peace He promises. Peace as defined by Him. Not the world's definition, but God's. There is no getting around the fact that in this world we will have troubles. If we wait for a lack of trouble to have peace...well, all I'm saying is we might be waiting a long, long, long time! But if what we seek after with all of our hearts is the peace that God offers, we will have it in abundance, because it is in seeking Him with all of our hearts that we will find it.

It's just a matter of redefining peace.


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