“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NABRE

There have been many “Peace be with you” lines in recent Gospels as the Risen Jesus appears, surprising his apostles again and again. I sometimes wonder if He is trying to assuage their guilt from abandoning Him, from doubting He had risen, from needing to see Him, or the empty tomb for themselves.

I wonder if every time He visits them. Anxiety rises a bit—this will be the time He calls me out for hiding while He carried his cross. This time He will definitely reference that only John was there, and how disappointed He is in us.

But Jesus does nothing of the sort.

Instead, He offers again and again: peace. Peace be with you. Don’t be anxious. I understand you were afraid. I understand you were faced with great unknowns. I understand that you could not understand what was happening in that moment.

Peace.

We are in standardized testing season. Anxiety is high in our house. I keep reassuring the kids—these tests don’t matter. Don’t stress about this. But my voice is drowned out by internal dialogue fueled by teachers and friends and the big build-up to testing days.

It’s hard to ignore all the things that want to steal our peace. Some things are urgent in this world—bills that need paying; medical treatments that need attention; a new baby arriving; some things are more fluid but can still cause anxiety–kids that need to be places; houses that need cleaning; yards that need tending.

We often think peace comes once all these things are done, but in life, there are always things that need doing. Many people and events call for our attention.

The Lord doesn’t only offer peace after these things or even before these things. He offers peace outside of these things. He says turn your heart to me.

He shows us by example, in the face of Pharisees trying to question Him. We see it in the face of 5,000 people needing to be fed. We see it when He is standing in front of Pilate, scourged, crowned, dragging a cross. His heart is turned to the Father—giving thanks and praise, trusting, knowing Who He is, knowing His mission.

We see it in His mother, standing quietly at the foot of the cross. Her heart is turned toward God, trusting His will. Knowing Her mission.

Peace. This is peace: resting in God even when the world is chaotic, your mind touting a list of to-dos and many people calling for your attention. Talking to Him about what’s going on around you, rather than consulting everyone and everything else. Seeking quiet time with Him when you want to squeeze in one more activity. Praising Him when you feel like doing the opposite.

The Lord’s peace is an offering to remember there is so much more than we can see in front of us. He pierces through the noise and calls to us: Peace. He shows us His wounds—He’s done the work; He’s won our salvation. Peace. He promises us peace not of this world—heaven’s peace.

I know it can be hard to find a way to push your mind past what feels like madness some days and find his peace, but it is promised to us, offered freely to us. If we focus on time with Him, we are assured that our hearts and minds will be guarded.

The worries become less about what we can do and more about what God can do. The heartache becomes less about the hurting and more about the healing. Time becomes less about the planning and more about the present.

Invite the Prince of Peace to stake a claim on your life and rest in His princely promise of everlasting peace.


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