Before answering “yes” or “no” to that question take a look at the definition of peace. According to the web it means order, structure, decree, poise, organize, equilibrium or balance. Peace in Hebrew is “Shalom” which means tranquility, calm, whole, or harmony.
Take a look at some word pictures that should help you to visualize peace or the absence of it. Beginning with my home let me say that there is a lack of order and harmony due to my slackness over the last few days. Clothes are piled high on my dresser, dirty dishes are scattered all over the counter and pots and pans stuck down in the sink. Did I mention the lawn that is way past due for trimming? This picture does not portray tranquility or harmony. It looks out of order, messy and chaotic.
I must take the time to hang up those cloths, wash the dishes, and get my husband to go out to mow and weed eat. Once we finish these simple chores peace will be restored and I will be able to prepare our evening meal without getting stressed out trying to find clean dishes to eat from. We will be able to eat dinner on the patio where we can enjoy the view and listen to the birds sing to us. What a calm, harmonious picture.
When we make the effort to do first things first it ushers in peace. However, stress and chaos would be inevitable if I would try to fix dinner in a messed up kitchen or dine outside where the tall grass and weeds are choking my Azaleas. After having experienced the absence of peace in my life I will take the time to put things in order.
Now look at what peace or the lack of it looks like in relationships. A parent/child relationship is a good one to examine. Today many parents allow their children to rule the home. Typically it is the kid that tells the parent what they want to eat and when. What time they want to go to bed, and if they will pick up their toys or not. When the child takes authority over the parent the experience is stressful and chaotic.
Peace will not be present until the parent/child relationship is put in its proper order. God gave the responsibility to parents to teach their children to honor authority, not to usurp it. Only when the parent accepts their responsibility and takes their rightful place will order be restored.
What does peace look like between parent and child? Mommy says, “Johnny, time to eat.” Johnny replies, “Okay mommy.” He comes to the table. His plate has broccoli on it and he says, “Mommy, I don’t like that green stuff.” Mommy says, “I have cookies for dessert if you clean your plate.” Johnny doesn’t eat his broccoli so mommy says, “I really wanted to give you some of your favorite cookies, but since you didn’t eat all of your dinner we’ll have to try again tomorrow.”
Johnny may not like it when mom stays true to her word even if and when he throws a fit about it. When he puts this kind of pressure on mom it would be good for her to take authority and teach him that such behavior will get him an earlier bedtime.
(My book, “Character Blocks”, offers many tools and tips on relationships that could help. Go to www.terrydonelson.com to pick up a copy.)
When relationships of any kind lack the proper order we tend to spend our precious time and energy just trying to survive. That is sad because we are actually intended to live in peace and to be able to do more than survive…we are to thrive.
In Isaiah 26: 3 we read, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee…” (CSB). Imagine “perfect” peace.
This does not mean that trouble will not find us, but when it does we will be able to trust God with how to deal with whatever if we are in right relationship with Him. That means we acknowledge our heavenly Father as our authority like Johnny did with his parent.
How is it that we can have peace when submitted to God’s authority even when those around us refuse to submit to His ways? For instance, how is it that we can experience peace when we treat others in a Godly way: lovingly, respectfully, and kindly but they continually treat us un-lovingly, disrespectfully, and unkindly?
There is a peace that passes all understanding referenced in Philippians 4:7. This peace comes from knowing God, believing what He says, and obeying Him in spite of any circumstance. Total trust brings total peace. Trust means that we understand what He wants us to do and then do it.
When we have done all that we know to do and still experience chaos we may need to seek Him more. Spend more time with Him by reading His Word and listening to His voice. He said if we lack wisdom all we had to do is ask and that He would give it to us bountifully.
Do you have peace? If you still say no then maybe it is time to switch roles with your Father. He will not disappoint you. Put your house in order before you do anything else and enjoy peace and experience what it is like to thrive.