“As you announce peace with your mouth, make sure that greater peace is in your hearts.”
~Francis of Assisi
(To his brothers before sending them out preach.)
How is peace to be nurtured within our hearts?
It’s such a fine question. It’s a question with no pat response. For the pat response is ignorance confounded by notions for peace never further from the truth. Let us never take peace for granted. Perhaps it’s not until we’ve lost our peace that we find how irreplaceably rare it can be in reclaiming it, let alone retaining it.
Fortifying our hearts in peace is the spiritual protection of God compelling us to work patiently in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
Peace – The Product Of Wellbeing
Biblical peace, so far as the apostle Paul identified in Philippians 4:6-7, is quite different to the peace as the world imagines it. But it looks the same. The outworking of godly peace, like joy and love and all the other Fruit of the Spirit, is available any time.
Many people won’t believe that. Indeed, we all have doubts.
But this peace we speak about, a supernatural gift from God per our surrender, appears through us—in, at times, the direst of circumstances—to the glory of God, and before other people it’s remarkable. It’s also a peace that shows up in routine life; when life is totally unremarkable, because most of our time is just that.
Peace is the product of wellbeing.
Feeling safe in the Lord is our opportunity, despite our pasts or our prospects or the privileges that might dilute our reliance on God. And wellbeing is such a personal thing. We might say it’s feeling safe within ourselves. And how might we feel at peace much of the time without God’s grace-filled endorsement?
Feeling Peace From Our Hearts
Peace is a tricky business if we try and invent it. This is why many programs for peace that focus only on enlightenment or detachment miss the mark. Peace must honour our living truths—existing within the space created by our problems. We cannot pretend we’re at peace.
And besides, how do we truly know what peace is? We only know what it’s like not to have it. Though we may have a firm vision of it.
Our biggest challenge is to know how to feel peace from our hearts; the genuine feeling of wellbeing that produces peace—the more consolidated state.
Feeling peace from our hearts is stopping, accepting everything in the moment as it is, breathing in and out through the instant, and knowing that in God we’re safe. Practice it. From there, there’s more peace to come.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.