One word: Peace. Every last soul, from here to Bangladesh, is searching for peace. The soldier searches for refuge from the war outside and within, the addict longs for the day when the bottle, pipe, or pill no longer controls them. Even the judge, priest, and doctor dream of a day when the degree of their services changes completely. Many might relate to that, but the fact is, statistically, most Americans aren't any of the above. Most of us are your average citizen with a moderate income from a mediocre job in a modest community. So what does peace look like to the majority? Peace looks like our bills paid, financial freedom, and our kids’ college tuition covered. And most often, peace looks like a comfortable retirement. However, I can stand here and tell you steadfastly that even the rich man dreams of what money can't buy. So if we're all just dreaming of peace, then where does peace come from?
Peace comes with appreciation. It comes with contentment and trust that lies outside of anything physical and satisfaction with the acceptance that sometimes more isn't enough. Peace comes with point-blank willingness - a willingness to search, not for possession, not for status, not for money, not even for achievements, but to explore what lies beyond the tangible components of our existence.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” - Philippians 2:13
Ever since man separated from God, we have longed and looked for Him in every form. But in the present day, the only way to find Him, to find peace, is subsequently found in a single word, a name, in fact. That name is Jesus. Sometimes we find the power of that name in church, but that's not everyone's story. Sometimes it's found sitting in your car in your driveway, listening to music when nothing seems to make sense. Sometimes it's found in the emergency room as options are running out. Other times though, that name is found when you're just done with all the chaos, and you know and feel that there's more out there than what the world has to offer.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” - John 14:27
You could be thinking right now, “why Jesus?” That's a fair question. The same one I asked, in fact, all those years ago as I struggled with the bitter fruits of war. As a teenager, I left my small hometown for the military and found myself halfway around the world staring evil face to face. That appointment in my life left me conflicted, doubting everything I ever knew, and in doubt, I cried out for answers. The answer eventually came, and it was simple enough when looked at objectively, so much so that anything else seemed to fall to the wayside. Humanity isn't perfect. We are embedded with an intellectual rebellion formed from the very beginning. Our entire premise of existence is faced with the incapacity to follow one rule: ”Don't eat that.”
“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” - Genesis 2:16-17
It became apparent that the answer to the unsettlement we all experience must lie outside our human capabilities. We are all broken, in a broken world, with broken desires. If that weren't the case, society would have indubitably discovered a utopian civilization by now. So, that solution, that missing piece to our peace beyond our physical reach, is a connection to the only God who can deliver our appreciation, our contentment, and our satisfaction in life. That missing piece is the Prince of Peace, the Savior, Jesus. There is absolutely no other possible way to get to God, then through the forgiveness of His Son. If you have the willingness to follow the wisdom, teachings, and acts of Jesus, and apply that to your time here on this earth, you will inevitably arrive at true peace. Once I cried out for Him and pleaded for Him to come into my life, He brought peace to my soul. His peace was given to me compassionately through grace and mercy, and He fulfilled my life through faith, hope, and love.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." - Isaiah 1:18
Still not sure? That's okay, but I'd be willing to wager you have looked for peace down countless crossroads in your life and they've all led to dead ends. So I’d ask you to try another way and find out for yourself. Perhaps you've never met Jesus, and you want, no, need to see what He can do in your life. Or maybe you are a seasoned Christian, with a fire turned to ember that needs a reminder that a relationship is a two-way street. Take 30 days and commit to discovering what He's all about. Church service, small groups, Celebrate Recovery, personal Bible study, prayer, music, meditation, and service are just a few ways you can connect with God. No one can find your peace for you; you have to find that on your own. If you seek Him out, the reality is you may not think you have found Him, but He will have found you. Commit to 30 days, and commit to a life of attainable peace in His glory.
Husband, father, writer, poet. Two time combat veteran with a passion for homeless ministry.