Reveal the Encounter Issue 14: PEACE

Peace.  One word that seems so allusive in our lives.  As I sit here in the quiet all alone, I feel anything but peace.  Is that okay to say?  I know that we Christians aren’t supposed to say things like that, especially when we are all alone in the quiet.  We are supposed to say that we are hearing God’s voice and that it brings us peace all the time, right?  Unfortunately, that’s not the reality of the situations for so many and I think we need to address the elephant in the room and admit that even Christians struggle with finding peace.  The Church is full of just as much chaos as the rest of the world at times, but the Church and its members will never be healthy and effective if we don’t admit that we struggle at times and need help.

I think of the phrase, "peace and quiet," right now.  We would often think that peace would come with the quiet but I have found that sometimes peace is the hardest to find in the quiet.  When it’s quiet I am forced to hear only myself and the voices that I let in.  You might be wondering what I’m talking about because I said I was alone.  The thing I have found is that the voices of others don’t have to be present in order to still be heard, especially the voices that can distract us from hearing God.  They can imprint themselves in our lives and be heard for years after they were spoken.

All I am physically hearing at this moment is the hum of the lights overhead but internally I’m hearing all the voices that would like to come between me, God and what He wants for me.  I’m hearing the voices of frustrations and failures.  I’m hearing the voices of those who would oppose the good, right and just things that God wants me to give into.  Peace seems so far away at this moment, but at the same time it’s so close and within grasp, I can feel it.

It seems that no matter how much quiet I get, I find no rest, I find no peace because the enemy has stolen it from me by throwing all of these negative voices at us.  I look around this world and I see individuals struggling with the very same things, but they don’t see the ability of peace standing right there next to them.  The voices and negativity of this world and in their lives are overpowering that soft still voice that is right there next to them.  It can be so hard to hear, even for those of us who are seeking it.

On a separate note, I have noticed a big trend in headphones these days, noise cancellation.  I will have to admit that I have a pair myself and the technology is quite ingenious really.  My headphones have a microphone in them that take a sampling of the noise around me and then they calculate and introduce a version of white noise to help drown out the sounds around me.  If you sit with them on and have nothing playing it is really interesting to hear the sounds that are loud enough to make it through.  The sounds are muffled and distant in the future.  I bought these headphones so I could wear them and listen to soft music while I work and not have to worry about the distractions of things around me.  I am one of those people who hears everything going on around them.  I can’t seem to block anything out and it distracts me from thinking and understanding.

I’d like to know how we can get a pair of noise cancelling headphones for life?  How can we block out the noises that would like to steal our peace?  I do think we have the perfect thing to help us and it’s happening right now, the manger.  As we sit around and prepare for Christmas, may we focus on the things that matter most, the person that matters most, Christ.  The noises of life can be so deafening and defeating but I ask you this year to try to block out all of this things.  I know it can be hard.  The economy, politics, crime, health, work and even the Church can all seem to be screaming at you.  Peace can seem impossible in this world right now.

God gave us another word for peace, shalom.  Shalom is based in understanding who God created you and this world to be.  Shalom is about trying to live in harmony with that understanding.  Most importantly, Shalom can only be achieved through the power, love, work, sacrifice and blood of Christ.  So if you don’t know who you were created to be, if you have forgotten, seek Christ this Advent season.  Focus on that one thing, that one person, with all of your might.  Christ is right there and He wants to help us find that peace, to find and experience Shalom.  He wants to block out all the voices that would like to steal that peace, that would try to tell us that we aren’t good enough or that we have to follow a certain mold.  Christ wants you to hear one voice this year, a voice that tells you are loved, you were created with a beautiful purpose in mind and that you can live out that purpose.

As I type this, I can hear that voice a little louder.  I can hear God telling me who He wants me to be and that He’s also not done with me yet.  I can feel a little bit more peace as I dwell on this understand and things don’t seem so bad as they did before.  I can still see all the bad things, I can hear them, but God is muffling them and instead I am more easily hearing Him say it doesn’t have to be that, you can be more, you were created to be more.  You will even hear Him say that He sent His one and only Son that whoever shall believe in Him will have peace, understanding and eternal life.

So, this Advent Season may you hear that soft still voice that brings a message of hope and peace that not only you, but this entire world can experience and become what God created you to be.
May you experience the Peace that surpasses all understanding this Christmas!!

1 Comment

Carrie Gray - January 12th, 2022 at 4:19pm

I have not ever commented on your blog,but wanted you to know I DO read it! I appreciate your thoughts so much especially this particular post about drowning out all the noise and voices in our own heads. I, like you, can't help but hear everything around me making it hard to focus and understand... and my own thoughts sometimes are just as deafening as the actual world around me. I aim to make Christ the very center of 2022 and pray for his shalom this year with you. Keep up the posts... they're not falling on deaf ears... no pun intended. haha