Peace , perfect Peace…
The Personnel Journal reported this incredible statistic: since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than eight percent of the time! In its study, the periodical discovered that of 3530 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Moreover, in excess of 8000 peace treaties were made–and broken.
True peace..complete and perfect , can only come from one source – its Author… Our Creator.
This time of year the phrase ” Peace on Earth and Good Will towards all Men” is used quite a bit (although not as much as it used to be). Taken from Luke 2:14 , it is meant to be used as a sentiment of gesture , implying that we should all be peaceable towards each other… While I don’t disagree with the sentiment , that’s not actually what the scripture says. Its says “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”…
Who exactly is he pleased with? – Those who love him…those who obey him… Those who TRULY try to know him…
The truth is , the peace that is being talked about here is not that of war between men ,but peace between a disobedient creation and its creator. Being reconciled to God through faith ,love and obedience to his word can one only REALLY ever experience TRUE peace…
I for one , can testify to this truth.
Even then , the peace that we have through God doesn’t ensure us a pain-free life ,but rather one of testing.Peace is not a life without trial ,but rather the quiet place you find among the noise … safety in the midst of harm…. Comfort in the throes of utter turmoil and anguish….Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble, but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always.
I had read a short story of a man who sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally the great day of revelation arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered.
The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled.
As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd.
A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.
The man with the vision uncovered the second painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?
A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power.
A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs.
With her eyes closed she spread her wings to cover her little ones…
She manifested peace in a place where there was none… A Peace that transcends all earthly turmoil. …True peace.. Because safety consists not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.
We are living in dark times .. and dark times don’t require dark measures ,but rather – The Light ….I’ll end this with the poem that inspired this thought tonight ,in hope that it will leave you with the same “Light” it left me..
” I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade,
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.”
– Charles Wesley.