Peace ,Perfect Peace… Some random thoughts on Peace

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.

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Windows…

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7 ESV)

The human eye is incredible. The fact that there are actually 2 of them working together for the same purpose yet independently of each other is even more so…If you take in to account all the sequences that are firing off at this instant while you read this , it’s just plain staggering… There is no question ,given the complexity of these organs that they were carefully created with much thought and care.. They are often called “The Windows to the Soul”..

But for all their grandeur , they are still limited as to what they can do..

You will never be able to see your own face with the exception of the tip of your nose without the aid of a reflection..nor the back or top of your head ,with out the aid of some sort of reflection or mirror..I think we all would agree that we don’t leave the house to go anywhere without first checking our reflection first..but have you ever considered what it is we are checking?

You see we have set a standard in our minds that we check against, and depending on how the reflection looks we make adjustments – in other words we are looking for flaws… And when we find them, we make the corrections to our satisfaction and then we go about our business but regularly taking advantage of any reflective surface we pass – to just “be sure” that everything is still in check…

With all of our care and personal honesty we attack the flaws in mirror with conviction..yet what do we do about the inside?…how do our eyes see in there?… This is another limitation to the eye- it can’t look inward without a reflective surface…

So have you ever looked intently into a mirror…into your own eyes? Even then ,you can’t see whats in your heart… you can’t see the side of your self that no one else knows.. But God does – after all , if he put that much CARE into your EYES , how much more then did he for your SOUL?…

He created it.. He gave us his words to nourish it… and when we have broken it , he gave us his son to SAVE it…

Would he not also give us a way to CARE for it?.. A mirror of sorts to check for the flaws and make adjustments?… A standard to set our minds on?…. yet for many , that standard sits on a shelf and NEVER gets looked into…For all the beauty we take in with our eyes, nothing compares to the beauty and majesty The God who created us…The very least we can do is look in his book written for us so that we can come to know him. By this and this alone, we can then know ourselves and see our TRUE reflection..

For all of our complexity and beauty – we are flawed and fragile creatures…If eye sight is considered to be the most valued of the senses , how much more then is the soul and the ability to look inside and see your own – and be CONTENT with what you SEE?

The invitation to study is still open…

Read Psalm 139 ,all verses.

Do it – it will be worth it 😉