Peace…Unlike the World’s

true peace

A search for peace

I wanted peace to be restored. Fifteen years ago, I was released from duty from my position with a company and our world turned upside down. Timing compounded our problems as the job situation happened with the housing crash of 2008. All businesses tightened their purse strings. For months, I collected unemployment compensation as I fruitlessly applied for jobs. I say fruitless because what I was offered did not match the various HR requirements of many companies. Being a white male within four to seven years of retirement carried a lot of negativity. The job market favored younger candidates that added diversity and young ideas to the workplace. Eventually, the clock ran out along with our cash reserves, and I surrendered to early social security benefits. That brought an end to the job search and reporting, but true peace did not accompany it.

Those were frustrating days, but they were also just the beginning. My wife’s parents moved back to the area and were very needy—not financially. They needed things done for them. And in the middle of that season of our lives, we had children move back in with us. Someone was always asking me if I could do this or that for them.

Illusive peace

While employed, I complained about how full my calendar was—at one point asking someone to schedule a meeting. I planned to attend, but my mind was in overload and couldn’t deal with setting up a calendar event. I longed for a day or two to myself when I could do what I wanted to do. After being let go, I had no clock to punch, but the family soon filled the free time by asking for this and that. Their reliance on me to help them had me moaning that I got more done around the house while putting in 40 hours or more a week at the office. I love my family and was happy that I had the freedom to do things for them, but I wanted some days off for myself—a little peace in the rush.

need peaceWhen covid hit and everything shut down, I thought maybe I could maximize the lack of activity for time to write. Maybe peace had finally arrived at my house. However, the forced isolation that followed the covid outbreak crushed my spirit. Locking me in a four-by-eight cell could not have been any worse. Like most of the people I know, I became consumed with the rules, expectations, and fears others pushed upon us, along with everything else that worked to stop contact. With it, my mind shut down. Lack of activity was not peace.

A new normal

As soon as things re-opened and a sense of normality crept in, the mind fog lifted. With the reclaimed freedom came a torrent of activity in a wild attempt to regain what had been left undone. On the heels of that, we sold our house and moved several states away from friends and family. Our days became filled with reestablishing a home, finding new friends, and trying to get settled in a new house. How were we ever going to find a time and place for peace?

New hope for peace

peace and hopeFourteen years into our experiences, I realized the definition of peace I had held in my mind was a mirage, a smoke and mirrors visage after the order of the Wizard in the Land of Oz. Moreover, I knew I would never find peace where I was looking. An event in the New Testament surfaced in my mind. After Jesus’s crucifixion, the disciples hid behind locked doors, fearing what the mobs who attacked Jesus might do to them. They were confused. The story hadn’t ended the way they had expected for the Messiah.

I wouldn’t doubt that some may have had some rough words concerning Judas who had betrayed him. Not Peter, though. He carried his own guilt burden for his denial of Jesus. Two disciples couldn’t take any more days of being cooped up hiding. They decided going fishing would be better than sitting there. Into that scene, Jesus—resurrected Jesus—stood in their midst and said, “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, NIV).

I remember in the apostle John’s book of Revelations, how quickly and completely people will surrender to anything that promises peace even though no peace could be had. In my fourteen years of struggle, I learned what peace isn’t, and through my experiences and through the Lord’s working in me, what peace is. After all, as Jesus said, his peace is not like what the world offers, not what we think we need or want. His peace is greater as the following example illustrates:

Catching the vision of peace

A contest was held for artists with an award going to the best depiction of peace. The winner painted a thin twig bowed under the weight of a small bird sound asleep while a turbulent waterfall cascaded so near behind it. Jesus’ peace enables believers to quiet their hearts in full confidence that the Lord is in control, and they can trust Him. No matter the stress nor the fierceness of turbulence around us, Jesus has given his promise and by his resurrection has proven that we don’t need to be afraid. He paired peace and don’t be afraid as he spoke to his disciples. Did you know Fear not is written 365 times in the Bible? His peace is for us to experience every day of our lives. Claim Psalm 121:2 in whatever you face: “My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”

Charles Huff

Charles Huff is a Bible teacher, minister, speaker, husband, father and grandfather. He and his wife have held pastors seminars and taught in various churches, including remote mountain churches in the Philippines. His writing has appeared in, The Upper Room; articles in three anthologies: Gifts from Heaven: True Stories of Miraculous Answers to Prayer compiled by James Stuart Bell; Short and Sweet Too and Short and Sweet Takes a Fifth, both compiled by Susan Cheeves King.

More Posts - Website - Facebook - LinkedIn

One comment

Comments are closed.