“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you PEACE.” ~Numbers 6:24-26
Sounds great, right? But, is that really possible this side of Heaven? I was never quite so sure. I have even quipped to some ladies that I thought peace in life, if it was possible, could only come to us when we were old and gray.
Don’t we all want it? Don’t we crave it? Don’t we seek after it on our own power? I did. I tried so hard to find peace in the storm that I eventually turned to a medicine bottle to find it. If I could just shut my brain down for a bit, then I thought I could have peace. If I could just sleep into oblivion, then I had peace. And I did, but that wasn’t the kind of peace the Bible promises.
How is peace defined? Merriam Webster defines it like this: a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from civil disturbance, a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations, a state or period of mutual concord between governments, a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell.
Those things all sound great, but is that what Moses meant in Numbers? Did he mean that we would be free of civil disturbance or free of oppressive thoughts and emotions? Did he mean that life would just be peachy keen and we could sip lemonade in the sunshine for the rest of our days? What exactly does the Bible say about PEACE? Let’s take a look…
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant PEACE whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. Isaiah 26:3 AMP
According to Isaiah, peace comes from committing, leaning on and hoping confidently in the One True Lord. It’s like this…when I was trusting in me to make the route and navigate myself to the destination, to drive the car and be completely in charge of the journey, I was circling the proverbial mulberry bush. I was spinning my tires and going nowhere except driving myself completely stark raving mad. Back in the day, it was all the rage in Christian circles to have a bumper sticker that said, “Jesus is my co-pilot.” Really? Until I let Him be the conductor of the J train and realized my place as a passenger, there was no peace in my life.
So, how do we do this? The answer lies in Philippians 4:6-7…
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s PEACE [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shallgarrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
You see, going back to the J train analogy, when I was the ticket taker, conductor, stewardess and entertainment on the train of life, I had a lot of anxiety. Anxiety because if anything went wrong, and it always does, there was no one to blame but me. I think you can relate. Ever let your mind wander with the what-ifs of life? At my worst, trusting in only me to make life work out the way it was supposed to…and not just my life, but the lives of my husband and children…well, my feeble, pea brain could not keep up with the endless possibilities in the what ifs of life. I couldn’t make enough contingency plans to avert disasters that were on the horizon. The result was that my mind was constantly running and I could not turn it off. I was the hamster on the wheel, running and running and yet getting no where. That is Anxiety with a capital A!
But, the prescription is right there in Philippians…not the Xanax or Ativan I thought would fix it all. That PEACE that I so desperately wanted was there all along. “That tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace”…that is the answer to having PEACE this side of Heaven. Being assured that the One in whom I have placed my faith is bigger than my circumstances and in knowing that EVEN IF things go bad, He is still in control and holds the world in His hands. WOW! I never knew peace until I was able to let God be God. Takes a huge weight off your shoulders, let me tell you.
Christ Himself tells us, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 MSG
If you could only see and hear that when things are going all wrong, we have Him whispering in our ears, “Take heart, you of little faith. I love you and have loved you enough that I gave myself as a sacrifice for you and I have already overcome this present darkness you find yourself walking through. I AM is here with you always.” There is no greater peace than that!
I am not saying here that I get this perfect everyday, but I am saying that once you are able to let go, you will not want to hold the reins of your life for very long. Once you have experienced the peace of God in your life, you will want it more than any of the things here that bring you pleasure…coffee, chocolate, wine, shopping, gadgets or even benzos.
In closing, I want to leave you with the words of one of my all time heroes, Paul.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT
This is my prayer for you and me today…that we would get out of His way today, let Him be in charge and that we would enjoy the ride of life, no matter what!