Peace is such an amazing thing. Peace can be - knowing that the whole house is clean and you are free to walk barefoot on a once dirty tiled floor. Your place of peace may be a cup of hot tea and three hundred words typed onto what was once a blank word document....okay that is one of my places of peace. Whether you enjoy a peaceful walk, an inspiring book, the rejuvenation of a warm bath, waves gently lapping unto a southern shore, or casting a pole into a river running through some valley, we all need peace.
So why does it seem so hard to come by? I am no expert, but I do know that God said, through His Son Jesus,
"Peace, I leave with you my peace,"
Therefore, if we are a child of God and trust in His word, we have peace. But we may need some help to release it.
Peace is not something that we have to work for. Jesus already "left it" with us. Over the years, as "A Work in Progress" I tried to earn peace through project management. The reason was because, first I did not know that Jesus had given it to me and secondly once I figured out that I had it I did not know how to release it.
As with our gifts, releasing peace takes a decision.
My daughter has the gift of quick reflexes, given to her by God through my husband, not me. If you throw something at me too fast just get ready to watch me get whacked. In golf you would have to yell "EIGHT" in order for me to move quick enough to duck. (Get it..."FOUR"...double the time...okay, anyway). In order for my daughter to use her reflexes she must be challenged to release them. When she chooses to use this special gift it is amazing what she is able to accomplish. My daughter enjoys playing games that require high skill levels of hand eye coordination and quick responses, because she regularly walks in victory. The opposite effect happens when she is not challenged, she becomes frustrated.
There have been many times in my life that I too became frustrated because I struggled with releasing peace, mostly because for years I never knew that I had it the whole time and just wasn't releasing it. I simply thought peace came from accomplishing tasks or completing projects. Yes, there is a temporary euphoria that releases when one’s checklist has been completed. However, that pleasure is only a morsel of freedom, which soon dissolves as a new project presents itself.
Jesus left us His peace. Even when I do not feel "peaceful" I know deep down that I am just not choosing to release the peace that God placed inside of me. Just like my daughter, I too can become frustrated when I have something and I am not using it.
God not only gave us peace, but He tells us, through His Word, how to release it. In James chapter 3 God explains to us the importance of our spoken words and how they can guide us where He wants us to go. Even though it felt strange, at first, when I started speaking John 14:27 out loud any time I thought that I was not using the peace that God had given me - peace began to release in my life. Over time I have become, not perfect, but consistently peaceful because of the decision that I made to daily walk out this peaceful promise that God had given me.
I am not saying that it is easy to choose to release peace in all situations, but what is the alternative? For years of trying to earn peace or obtain it, my plan was not working, now by releasing the peace God has given me, through Jesus, (which is available to anyone who chooses to believe), I live a life of freedom no matter what comes my way. Walks in the park, enjoying a restful sleep, or even relaxing by a fireplace with my family, may help remind me of peace, but knowing where my peace comes from is when I am able to release to and enjoy peace.