I have been thinking for a couple of days about topics for my articles to finish out this year and last night just before I dozed off, three words came to my mind. Then this morning, my daily devotional dealt with what I had decided would be the first topic for this weekend – peace. The scripture reference for the day was Psalm 23:2. The Contemporary English Version puts it this way – “You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water…”
Those words cause me to envision a beautiful mountain meadow with green grass – a perfect place to put down a blanket and sit, listening to a little trickling stream of water running by and birds singing in the trees. That would be a happy place for me. One where I could relax, breathe deep, quiet my mind and just enjoy a time of peace.
But in everyday life, peace can seem like such an elusive thing. We can go for days, weeks, months – even years feeling as though we have no peace in our lives. There are so many things that seem to intrude and rob us of that contentment we all yearn to have. We live busy lives that keep us on the go with so many outside forces creating stress, that we seem to be consumed with anxiety. That turmoil just does not leave room for true peace that will result in calmness.
It is no wonder that so many people deal with the emotional, physical and mental repercussions of stress. If you research it, you will find that chronic stress can cause your immune system to weaken which can result in more illnesses; it can cause a whole long list of serious physical disorders; and, depression and anxiety can have devastating results.
There are many different personality types, consequently there are many different ways to deal with stress – what works for one will not work for another. I believe it is important for each of us to determine what our happy place(s) can be. If it is not possible to actually be present in that happy place (i.e. I cannot suddenly place myself in a mountain meadow with a trickling stream nearby), then we need to find a way to mentally put ourselves there. Read about it, meditate on it, listen to/watch a video. Find something that will help you relax – take a nice warm bath; exercise/take a walk; do or watch something that will make you laugh; read; write; paint; garden; get a massage; spend time with a friend or family member that tends to brighten your spirit; or, even better – pray.
What I want to do now is leave you with some scriptures that I hope will lift and encourage you and hopefully give you that much desired peace: [All emphasis is mine]
Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV): “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 (AMP): “Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace at all times and in every way [that peace and spiritual well-being that comes to those who walk with Him, regardless of life’s circumstances]. The Lord be with you all.”
If we will get out of our own way and look to God, our search for that elusive peace will be so much easier to come by:
Psalm 29:11 (NLT): “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.”
I will end with one of my favorite passages – it was quoted often at my church when I was growing up, although this is a slightly different translation. This is my wish for all of you during this holiday season:
Number 6:24-26 (ERV): “‘May the Lord bless and keep you. May the Lord smile down on you and show you his kindness. May the Lord answer your prayers and give you peace.’”
Written by Karran Martin – December 11, 2021