Faces of Peace

I am on a constant journey to find peace. It is something I crave on a soul deep, inner man deep, level. It is difficult to describe, but it is there and it is insistent.  I search for rest, because I am weary. It is not always the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion or the desperation of drowning kind of weariness, but sometimes it is. Life is showing me that peace has many different faces and it invades every situation. It can be quiet and unobserved, waiting to be noticed and when it is noticed, brings surprise and a deep sense of well-being. This happens in the wee hours of the morning, while rocking a tired, cranky baby; back and forth, back and forth, praying for rest and calm until suddenly you feel it – peace. It was there waiting, gently and softly. Rest. Peace. Joy. Love. All is well, you are safe and secure. Sheltered.

Peace is there on an ordinary day, when things are flowing smoothly and life is pleasant and people are kind. Peace was there before the day started off well, before everyone got up and got ready for work and school on time, before lunches were remembered and PE clothes were grabbed on the way out the door, before the house emptied and things were quiet. Peace was already there, waiting and present and real.

Peace is there in the absence of storms, just as real and alive and powerful, as it is in the midst of grueling trials and storms that seem to have no end. Peace is there, strong and powerful and full of compassion, when the Doctor opens the door to your room, takes a deep breath and says, “I’m so sorry. You have breast cancer.” It is there. Peace is what keeps you from losing yourself to terror when desperation blasts in and you feel like you are drowning and have no control. Peace is there in the middle of the fears of the “what-if’s” saying, “Yes! What if you are healed? What if you are well taken care of and deeply loved, what if you are never, ever alone in the midst of this, what if you are held in arms that are bigger than all your fears, what if you have shelter in the midst of all this hurt and chaos? What if? What if…

Peace reminds you that it was there before this storm hit and it will be there forever after. Peace lifts your face and asks you to fasten your gaze steadily into the eyes of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. It is Jesus, peace is Jesus. Such calm, such safety, such lovely rest.

On this journey of mine, I have discovered time and again, that my searching and desire for peace leads directly to Jesus.  Every single time. I won’t find it inside myself, in my own strength. That will fall short every time. I know. I have tried over and over to be self-reliant and strong enough. The One who created me, when I was but a thought in His mind, the One who formed every single part of me, all my weaknesses and failings and all my strengths and gifts – He wants me to feel peace, to feel Him working out all things for good, according to that beautiful, unique plan that is my life. Your life. The time He took to carefully place us right where we are, surrounded by the people and circumstances that He brought into being, tells me that He knows what He is doing. He is the Master planner. He knows how it all ends. We win because He is victorious over death and sin. It is good. He’s got me, He’s got you. It is ok to not know what to do, if you know the One who does. It is ok to not have it figured out and planned and plotted. He already did that. It’s done. Can you and I walk this out? The not knowing? We can. We do it every day, don’t we? We wake up and just go. However, the going is so much easier when we understand and truly believe that He has us in His hands and that nothing, nothing at all, comes toward us, His children, that He has not first filtered through hands of love, a mind of infinite wisdom and a heart that loves us so intensely, intimately and fiercely, that He allowed His beloved Son to die for us, to take all this on for us, to forgive us and to become our Peace. This is a wild love. It is not tame and it is not controllable. Yet, in this fierce and protective love, we find the greatest of peace. Jesus.

Melissa Giomi, October 7, 2015

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