Early County News

Destination peace



Standing beside a picturesque waterfall I couldn’t think of a more peaceful setting. It was there, on this Wilderness Adventure, I met an interesting outdoorsman who helped guide the group. I learned that this waterfall and all the stunning grounds around it had been his home for six years, but he shared that he recently decided to move. “I am going out west. That’s where I find my peace.” he said.

That comment got me thinking about “where” this man’s peace really is. Have you ever been led through a relaxation activity where you were instructed to close your eyes and picture that you are in your favorite place? Maybe you would picture the beach or a mountain top, but most likely it is a place where you have experienced a peaceful moment in the past; some call it their happy place. However, peaceful moments do not mean you have peace.

I vividly remember taking in a view of the Swiss Alps in my early twenties. At the time I thought that nothing could ever take the place of the peace I felt in that moment, but I was wrong. There is a peace that isn’t determined by destination, isn’t disturbed by difficulties and can’t be detoured with a diagnosis. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.

That is how Paul could be at peace while he was chained up in prison. It’s how John was perfectly at peace when he was exiled to a seaside cave on the Island of Patmos. And it is how Jesus’ own brother James could be at peace in his travels spreading the gospel and building the church. Their peace was not dependent upon where they were or even how they felt. Their peace was within because of their abiding relationship with Christ Jesus.

Some people spend a lifetime chasing peace as they travel the world, but it eludes them. Just when they think they have found it, it vanishes. I am afraid that wilderness adventure guy is going to be let down eventually when he discovers his peace wasn’t out west after all. Until we know that the One who crafted the Rocky Mountains and the One who placed every grain of sand on the shore is the very One who gives peace even when peace doesn’t make sense, we won’t find “destination peace”.

It is summer and many of you are eager to head out on vacation and find some much needed peace. As you sit beside the ocean or take in a beautiful vista, meditate on this scripture. “His voice was like the roar or rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.” Ezekiel 43:2. It is not surprising that humans can have a sense of peace when they experience beautiful places on earth. The author of peace himself is glorified through the land He created.

Instead of going after peace, you can take peace with you wherever you go. If your peace is fleeting and you have exhausted all of your options for finding peace, find Jesus. He supplies all the peace you need in every circumstance – even the difficult ones. Dr. Tony Evans gives us these hope words, “ You cannot expect to have peace around you if you do not have peace within you.”

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