Water. Two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen. It is life. No living organism on earth can live without it. It has been said that “water will make a coward of us all”--and certainly it can be deadly, it will win in a battle of will, but at it’s finest hour, it is the epitome of rest, peace, quiet and beauty.
When my body is at a place of turmoil, where every fiber of my being is working overtime and each part of me is trying to trump the other to see what can cause the most unrest, I almost always find myself longing for water. Not to drink, but a body of water, preferably when the sun is setting. Fortunately, I live in Florida where I can find a body of water in about 10 minutes or less. It is there that Jesus and I have the best conversations. Even He, after all, referred to Himself as the Living Water; and He is that and so much more. Sometimes I’ll throw a rock or a shell into the water to disturb it’s peace, only to find that I may create a few ripples but then the water settles back to it’s resting state, the state of peace.
It is that peace I seek to understand in this new series. While searching for a verse to start our series, one of my favorite came to mind, and I can’t help but mention it, but another verse jumped off the page at me and I knew it was the verse. First, one of my favorites:
“I will keep him in perfect peace, who’s mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in me.”
Please forgive my KJV memorization of that verse as it is one that I learned in college in Old Testament survey, and the KJV translation of that verse is sweet; it makes me long for the sweetness of God, when my mind is absolutely focused on Him. My Old Testament Survey professor was an older gentlemen and a campus favorite. When he taught us this verse, he explained to us that the translation of this verse served difficult because there literally is not a word in the English language to describe the kind of peace mentioned here. So, most translations use “perfect peace” but Dean Spotts told us it really should be translated “peace peace”--like a double dose of the life giving, sanity saving peace that we can have if we want it.
I have a feeling this study is going to be rich and all of us will find that we both want and need peace at it’s highest and sweetest levels in order to survive and advance the kingdom. I think we will be focused on finding and eliminating those things that disturb our peace. I think we will become eternity minded, and understand that the things on this planet that disturb our peace are fleeting, and that one day we will give an answer for letting those things steal our peace.
Here is the verse that absolutely serves as a call for all of us, it’s powerful, so stop reading now if you don’t want to be accountable for the commandment we find in I Peter 3:11
“They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it”
I wasn’t super happy to read this verse–at all. I want peace to be here for me when I wake up and stay with me throughout my day. I don’t want the worries of this life to steal it from me–you mean I have to actively look for it and then hunt it down?
Yes, that is exactly what we have to do.
Peace, translated here, means “quietness or rest”, so in this context, we are being admonished to chase down quietness and to chase down rest. In doing that we have do turn from evil and do good–because in those things there is no quietness or rest–our conscience will stop any such peace when we are not turning from evil.
Pursuing quietness and rest seems like an easy enough task, but is is really? It takes a long season of noise and unrest for me to find a body of water to calm me down. What would happen if I woke up in the morning having decided that I will find a time during the day to seek quietness and rest? What would happen? Would I be the best version of myself? Would my mind be clear and my spirit sensitive to what the day really holds for me? Could I then do good, because I am operating from a place of strength?
We all want Peace–and we will find that Peace comes in all forms. But for the purposes of this week, the beginning of the series, seeking quietness and rest seems like a really good place to start. So, in keeping with that sermon I loved so much “Good Morning Midnight” by Steven Furtick–we say Good Morning Peace.
Shhhh…listen, do you hear it? Go find it. I will too.