Lately, I have been thinking a lot about peace and how to get more of it in my life.
A couple months ago, a friend of mine shared something that has stuck with me. I had asked her to pray about a specific decision I was considering, and she told me that God had been teaching her a lot about peace and feet. She reminded me that when we are taking steps toward spiritual health and preparation against spiritual attack, God wants to come alongside and guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:79 says that is exactly why Jesus came. So, she told me, "when we don't have clarity, sometimes all we can do is let our feet move us into a direction of peace."
Wow. I cannot tell you how impactful those words have been for me recently. When I do not know exactly what to do or what decision to make, I can always move toward God by moving toward peace. One morning as I was meditating on this, I began looking up verses about peace to write in my journal. There are so many, but here are a few:
Whoever would love life and see good days . . . must seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:10-11)
Peace I [Jesus] leave with you; my peace I give you. (John 14:27)
In me [Jesus] you may have peace. (John 16:33)
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. (Colossians 3:15)
Perhaps the verse most referenced at this time of year is from a prophecy by Isaiah. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Prince of Peace is translated from the Hebrew words, Sar Shalom. Sar means a leader or captain. Shalom means peace or completeness. Shalom is my favorite word ever (for real - I even have it tattooed on my shoulder), but I had not previously thought about how these two words go together. Jesus really does want to lead me toward peace. When I prepare myself for battle against the brokenness of this world, Jesus wants to be my captain in fighting for wholeness . . . completeness . . . peace.
As I have recently considered next steps in several areas of life (career, writing, ministry, relationships), I have returned time and time again to this idea of walking toward peace. Not peace that tries to make everyone happy or avoids conflict or concedes. Not peacekeeping. No, I want to be a peacemaker. Makers are active not passive. Makers invite the mess because they are creating something better. Peacemaking means I may have to walk toward conflict in order to achieve resolution. I may have to plod through something hard in order to overcome whatever has been holding me back. I may have to dig in the cleats on the bottom of my shoes of peace in order to keep Satan from taking any ground from me. Regardless of what effort it requires, I have decided to follow Jesus toward peace.
Interestingly enough, during this journey toward peace, I developed a true physical limp. The irony is not lost on me, God. As I have fought with an injury that impacted my literal running (my usual coping mechanism for life), God slowed my pace to a figurative walk and focused my attention on the path ahead of me. Because of the slow and methodical steps of the past few months, I will be making some exciting announcements soon. About the blog. And the book. And life in general.
Lately, I have been finding peace in all the right places.