Reflection for Today:
Philippians 4:7, 9b – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…and the God of peace will be with you.
If I can sum up one of the main things that this pandemic season has stolen, that would be my peace. My peace of mind was exchanged for a fragmented mind. My peace in my heart was assaulted by raging seas. Even when peace is achieved, it only seems as if it is for a quick moment before the next news headline arrives. Peace seems to vacillate from peace stolen to peace shattered. How does one seek peace?
Yesterday’s post precedes the path to peace. Peace is not a quick fix. Peace is not cheap. Peace is not instant. The work of peace is predicated upon the witness of worry, prayers, supplications, and the act of thanksgiving. These in fact could be the very stepping stones that bring us to “…and the peace of God…”. We get to peace by the points of pain. We step on the worry. We surface the prayers. We craft the supplications. We list the daily graces. There is something oddly comforting about this: a peace that can withstand the weight of these words. That peace can also be a guard to our hearts and our minds. Peace as a protection. A peace that comes from God, not from the pieces of our circumstances, but not without taking them into consideration.
I love that the source of peace is God: “the peace of God”. I love that God is also described as “the God of peace”. God promises God’s peace and God promises God’s presence. One perhaps is inextricable from the other. The Lord is near. The Lord comes close. God’s presence is our peace.
What are the main sources that rob me of peace lately? How can we offer them up as a prayer pathway to peace-seeking in each circumstance?
God of peace, God who sleeps in the middle of the stormy seas. We offer you our worries that can strip away at our peace of mind. We offer you our supplications for those things that need the power of your words, “Peace be still.” We place our requests at your feet in a divine exchange. Give us peace as we hand you our broken pieces. God, we seek not only your peace that can only come from the womb of your being; we seek your presence that gives breath to our very being. In your presence, we find peace. In your peace, we find our present peace. Give us this day our daily peace. Amen.
(✍️ Mark D. Roberts – edited NW)