Isaiah 48:18 Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Ah, peace like a river. Oh how I would like that! To sit in my inner tube lazily coasting along singing “It is Well with My Soul.” It’s what I used to do with my cousins as a kid. Okay, we didn’t sing, but we lazily coasted along the river in our inner tubes splashing each other and having fun. Rivers can be fun, rejuvenating and energizing.
As an adult however, when I think of peace, I envision a lake surrounded by woods where I see a mirror image of the sky and trees on the surface, not a river.
Rivers are active, turbulent, noisy and chaotic in comparison to my wooded lake picture.
In December it’s easy to feel like my life is a river full of a turbulent, noisy and chaotic mess with the preparations, parties and other holiday festivities. I have too much on my plate and run around trying to accomplish all the “to dos.”
Instead of grasping at the peace that the world offers through purchasing just the right thing, I should accept the gift of peace Jesus offers through my heart. It’s peace amidst the messiness and busyness of life. It’s peace like an active, turbulent river.
There’s one catch though, this peace doesn’t just show up, I have to seek and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11). This peace isn’t just plopped into my lap when I’m sitting and doing nothing. It’s active and moving just like me during this busy season.
These verses paint peace as active, moving and noisy, yet I have always thought of peace as calm, quiet, undisturbed and still.
This active picture of peace means I can find peace anywhere I am, no matter what I’m doing. I don’t have to find the perfect wooded lake conditions to have peace. It’s accessible to me anywhere and anytime, no matter how chaotic life gets.
Peace amidst busyness. I like that. Do you?
What does peace mean to you?
What images come to mind?
How can you spread Christ’s peace to others today?