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By Philipp Rüsch
Europe, Global, NW Europe
We all seek peace. Every person on this planet seeks peace in one form or another: peace of mind; physical peace in war zones; peace in our families, teams or communities. Even aggressive people need peaceful moments.

Too often this seeking leads to unfulfilling answers and leaves us frustrated. I think one reason for this dilemma is that many people misconceive the huge difference between the peace found on earth and the peace that only Jesus can give us. In John 14:27, Jesus differentiates between these two types of peace. We can get this godly peace only directly from the supplier and cannot re-create it on earth.

In Philippians 4:7, we read that God’s peace surpasses all our understanding. We cannot comprehend his peace, nor can we really grasp it. We can accept it, sense it, and feel it, though, as it goes beyond our bodies and minds into our hearts. And that is most wonderful and indescribable. To me, experiencing Christ’s peace in my heart is one of the most convincing evidences of his existence.

God’s peace is available in abundance. However, we need to ask for it and need to make room in our lives for this encounter with God. It does not push its way onto our agenda. That we must do ourselves. But doing so is easier said than done, which is why many people seek quicker fixes and start looking for peace in all the wrong places. We begin to confuse deep inner peace in our souls and hearts with the feeling of numbness. And numbing ourselves can be easier than finding inner peace.

Humanity has always been quite creative in developing methods and substances that have numbing effects. Distractions, addictions, noise in all shapes or forms are available 24/7 if we need peace but don’t have the time, openness or desire to search for real peace. Unfortunately, so many beautiful things that make our lives rich and meaningful can quickly become our distractions of choice: music, sports, sex, friendship, movies – even work and so much more.

One hindrance to peace I’ve noticed in my life in past years is a packed schedule – having a lot to do, being busy, living in a hurry. Peace is not found in the hurry. A hurried life is not a peaceful one. We need to slow down to find peace. Otherwise we don’t even perceive the peace that God has in store for us. Wishing for peace while rushing through our day is like trying to smell the flowers on the side of the road while driving on the freeway. If you're lucky, you might get a whiff, but the marvelous scent and the beauty they radiate is, at best, fleeting.

If you feel restlessness rather than peace in your life, I invite you to take measures to slow down. Honestly assess your life and ask yourself what is distracting you. Invite Jesus to fill you with his peace and with the wisdom and courage to make more space in your life for him.

Before we fill our schedule again, let us find God and his peace and truly enjoy the beautiful things he gives us.
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