If you look up “peace” in the Strong’s Greek dictionary, it says it means, “rest, quietness, to set at one again.” It makes me think of a pond somewhere deep in a field, kind of as the sun’s going down, like in one of those sepia-tinted photos, ducks and bulrushes, really still. Un-rippled by the wind, undisturbed by children throwing pebbles. The natural state of the untroubled.
When people speak of peace today, it’s with the wistfulness of Charlie Brown reading the Christmas story, like peace on earth is as fairy-tale as Santa Claus, something children believe in and adults suspend their disbelief for during that special time of year when even Nazis put down their weapons and sing Silent Night.
But peace is not an elusive concept that we can never reach, nor is it a far-off thing we have to go out and find, hunt down, and drag home. It’s the natural state of someone who has been “set at one again” by God. When God, who is our peace, makes peace with us, puts His peace in us, and sets peace over us to guard us, then peace is not something missing or impossible. It is something present and living, natural, the default state of the believer.
Salvation is the reset button that gets all the settings right. To find that place of rest and quietness, the only thing we need is to get back to square one, where God put us at salvation. If I can remember what God has already done, then I realize there is nothing left to be done. And that is peace.
Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.