Today I've been pondering the meaning of the word "peace".
So many of my dear friends, and a few close family members, are experiencing extreme hardships right now, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Pain is being felt in many homes tonight. My heart aches for them, even as my own body aches from the infection I'm currently fighting. Trouble on the outside... sorrow on the inside.
There have been a few verses floating around in my head as I try to process everything.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" ~ Psalm 27:1
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." ~ Psalm 46:1-2
And especially this one...
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~ John 14:27
It seems that if we are able to have peace, then it means we are able to weather any storm of life without being knocked off our feet, because our strength is found in something so strong that nothing can shake it. Does this mean that our emotions are unworthy? No. Grief, anger, hurt are important expressions of our hearts; we are not machines. If we have peace, though, then we do not need to have despair. Should we become disinterested or fatalistic about our futures? Not one bit. We possess value in and of ourselves as individual, unique humans who can have a positive impact on the world and people around us, if we care to develop our potential gifts.
Peace comes from knowing that no matter what, we will be "okay". Even deeper than that, peace comes from knowing that no matter what happens in our outward lives, to our physical bodies or physical environment, our inner self will be safe. The flesh may be chained yet the heart still flies free. As another way of putting it, earthly possessions return to dust, but the soul has a haven impervious to destruction.