“Ah gots peas like a riber in my sooooooooooooo”. My toddler-daughter sang it loud and long throughout the Christmas season. I’d never really thought of “I’ve Got Peace Like A River” as a Christmas carol, but that didn’t matter to my girl. I asked her what peace felt like. She said, “sssshhhhhh quiet, f’ever”.
We celebrate Christ as the Prince of Peace each Christmas season. We send cards that say “Peace on earth, good will to men”. We sing “Let there be Peace on Earth…and let it begin with me”. What is it that we want? What does this peace feel like? How can we get it?
In Judges 6, Gideon had an encounter with God, who proclaimed to him “Peace!” In response, Gideon built an altar and called it “The Lord is Peace”. From this we learn that God is peace. Apart from him, peace does not exist. Not only is he peace, but he blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11). Isaiah explains that we can have perfect peace when we set our minds on him and trust him (Isaiah 26:3). It is God who establishes peace (Isaiah 26:3) and the fruit, or result, of righteousness is peace (Isaiah 32:17).
As a woman, I find my peace most often rattled by my own fears. Perhaps that is why again and again Scripture, the call to peace is followed by the command, “Do not fear”. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubles and do not be afraid.” Knowing that God is Peace, that Christ is the Prince of Peace is one thing, but walking in that trust is another. It requires intentionality, focus and purpose.
One of my favorite ‘do it!’ verses is Romans 8:6: The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. This is where I want to live...in the “ssssshhhhhh quiet, f’ever”.