"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid"
Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly by chasing after it? That approach typically fails in exhaustion. But on the other hand, if you wait patiently, more often than not, the butterfly catches you. In the same way, rather than forcing peace into your life through medications, vacations, or meditations, we are better off stopping and taking a moment to pray to God.
Life has been difficult for many of us over this past year. The pandemic seems to go on without end. People are stressed financially, socially, and spiritually. We are so desirous to experience a peace that surpasses all understanding. But it seems so far from us.
Before Jesus' death and resurrection he made a promise to his disciples. He indicated that he would gift his followers peace. And the peace that Christ gives is deeper and more fulfilling than anything this world can offer. Do you know that peace? Have you experienced it? If so, can you get it back?
The truth is, we can't manufacture peace. Like chasing after butterflies, true peace constantly moves just out of our reach. The more we labor to get it, the further it slips away. Fortunately there is a solution. In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul offers the following directions, "Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand."
What's interesting about Paul's instructions here is that he does not tell us to pray for peace. Jesus has already given it to us. We just need to verbalize our worries and our fears to God. We also need to spend some time offering up our praises and gratitudes. When we do this, Christ's peace alights on us.