Life has a way of wearing you down. The daily up and down grind can make you feel as if you are on a roller-coaster as you deal with physical, emotional and financial issues.
I was reading 1 Corinthians this week as part of my regular devotions. I didn't make it past the 3rd verse of the 1st chapter. That verse says, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 1:3) It's a wonderful greeting Paul gives in his letter and it got me thinking how great it would be if we greeted each other with grace and peace today! Peace seems to be lacking in so many lives, yet God is a God of comfort.
I looked up the word peace in the dictionary and I found two definitions of peace that resonated with me. The first one is a state of calm and quiet. The other is freedom from disturbing thoughts or emotions.
Both are fitting descriptions.
A state of calm and quiet. Probably the thing we think of most when we think of peace is quiet. Just a chance to take a time to rest and relax. No worries, no distractions, just quiet. Jesus often went away with the Father for some alone time. Sometimes the crowds followed Him and sometimes He got alone but He never stopped setting aside time for rest.
How often do we set aside time for rest? There is always something to be done, someone who may need us, demands on our time. We give in to every whim of life. Why not set aside time to refresh?
Freedom from disturbing thoughts or emotions. This definition is one I am struggling with the most. I can't just turn off my mind and rest. I lay in bed and the days activities run through my mind as I recall the good and the bad while planning the next day. I too often recall the hurts of life and the conflicting emotions that come up as I try to do what's right and yet so often do the wrong thing. (Romans 7:15)
So I come back to this greeting in 1 Corinthians. As I read this verse, I was also reminded of Psalm 23. Particularly I am drawn to the verse that says, "He leads us beside still waters."
There is truth in that verse. This past year has been an...interesting...one. I've taken some hits in unexpected ways, seen God bless me in others and through it all...through the worst of it...I can say that I know His peace. It is a peace that truly passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), and yet it is undeniably His peace.
So my wish for you, my greeting, is that of 1 Cor. 1:3, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.