In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul talks about “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding”. When I read this I thought how incredible that must be and immediately set out to try to see what I could find about the peace of God. I wanted to make this peace feel more tangible.
The Hebrew word “shalom” is the word used most often in the bible to describe peace, but this word has much more meaning than just not being in a state of conflict. According to Strong’s Concordance, Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, and of course, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.
In looking at this definition, I find the vast majority of the things I find myself seeking in life. Aside from love, I would say it is a pretty complete list. My way of attempting to achieve these things is pretty tiring though.
In the pursuit of health, I work out, watch my diet, keep track of my weight, my cholesterol, my blood pressure and a host of other things. As I get older, healing takes longer and trips to the doctor become more frequent.
In the pursuit of welfare and prosperity, I spend a couple of weeks per month away from my family traveling for work. When I am home, I work long hours and often bring work home with me. After all this, I even lose sleep at night worrying about what I didn’t get done in the pursuit of perfection.
Our home best represents our pursuit of tranquility. My wife Diana and I spend countless hours and a fair portion of our income paying for, cleaning, maintaining and decorating our home so that we have a place to enjoy time with our friends and family.
In the midst of this flurry of activity, we try to squeeze in a little rest so we can get up and start our pursuits anew. I’m getting tired just thinking about all of this.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not complaining, I just needed to put some things into perspective. Now let’s get to the important question; how do I get this peace that Paul speaks of?
As it turns out, I simply need to submit my requests to God in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Not as easy as it sounds for a guy like me who grew up like a lot of American men, believing that real men can do it all by themselves without help from anyone. It is certainly worth the effort though considering how this kind of peace would impact my life, and the lives of those closest to me.
So in conclusion, I’m going to swallow my pride and pray for the sake of my family and have faith that God will make good on His promise. I am truly thankful for my health, my family and the quality of the life we lead together. My wife Diana is the proof on this earth that God loves me. I am blessed beyond measure. So I pray to you Lord that you would show me your ways and help me walk the path that you would choose for me. I want to experience your peace. Amen.