Practices of Peace: Peace with Ourselves
More Precious community; let us practice stilling our hearts this Christmas season, and living in the freedom of His peace that He promises each and every one of us. Let’s walk in that peace; let’s choose joy.
This autumn I found myself re-thinking a familiar phrase from Psalm 40:
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Being still makes me think of meditating, or time spent alone just thinking and resting. For many the Christmas season is one of the busiest times of year – how are we supposed to fit in ‘being still’? But I have been wondering whether this verse is perhaps less about sitting alone silently, and more about an attitude. In our society, being busy seems to have become expected; as if how busy you are is a good answer to how your week has been.
Perhaps this verse is suggesting, though, that even if our time is full, we don’t need to live in a perpetual state of feeling busy, rushed or overwhelmed. In a week that is full, could it still be possible to have a heart that knows how to be still?
Perhaps this is what peace looks like. Learning to have a still heart despite the busyness, living in the freedom that comes from knowing that He is God, not us. Maybe having peace with ourselves doesn’t look like having everything sorted, but being still despite not having everything sorted. Rather than measure our standards by our busyness, we can find peace in knowing that He is God, and rest in that truth.
This seems a great theory, but how do we do that in practice? Philippians 4 gives us some hints at where to start:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
There are 3 things this passage tells us to do that I want to highlight:
– REJOICE. This is given as an instruction: we are told to rejoice. Sometimes this is easy to do, sometimes this is harder, but we are to choose to rejoice in all circumstances. Whether this advent finds us full of the joy of Christmas, or whether we are feeling overwhelmed by the mad rush, we are challenged to choose joy.
– PRAY. The next instruction is to pray, to hand it all over to Jesus. This is part of being still and knowing that He is God; we must be willing to let go of trying to be God ourselves, and hand it all over to Him.
– PEACE. We are promised peace. We don’t need to summon it up ourselves, but are promised that we will experience peace beyond what we can understand. This is both for our hearts and our minds, allowing us to be still and be peaceful regardless of how chaotic the world around us may feel.
This advent, let’s be people of peace. People who, regardless of the busyness around us, however chaotic it may feel, choose to be still and know that He is God. Let’s choose joy, hand it all over to Jesus and allow Him to fill our hearts and minds with peace.
This post is written by: Libby
I am a final year Chemistry student at Durham, where Kings church is my home. I spend far too much of my time playing frisbee, drink a large amount of tea and am a big fan of all things yellow.