(my images are goodies for you to share and pin.
soul goodness among kindreds)
Peace is hard to come by.
Peace was a quiet quality that I’ve always longed for as a little girl. I felt it at night, when everyone was asleep and the house was still. If I was facing a problem, that’s when I did a lot of my thinking. I’d figure a way out.
My peace was often found in asking God to help me find a solution.
Another way I found peace was journaling. I’d write and write, until I felt peaceful.
But, these moments of peace were elusive and fleeting.
I’ve been learning that the perfect peace that God talks about in Isaiah 26:3 goes deeper:
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in you.”
This verse was given to me when I was eight years old, as a reward for jumping rope the longest at a church picnic — inscribed on a wooden plaque. It was one of my few possessions, so I always put it on my desk. I’ve looked at that verse all my life, but never really quite understood what perfect peace was.
How can peace be “perfect”?
It wasn’t until I went through my life-transforming journey to create space to feed my soul and rest — to make room for spiritual whitespace — that I looked up the original Hebrew for “peace”.
The word is “shalom”. Shalom means a putting back together. Like pieces of a garment, sewn together to make a whole. Or puzzle pieces gathered together — found after being lost — to fit together to make a whole.
And I began to understand. I’ve often found peace by knowing what to do. Or finding a solution.
But, the truth is, not every problem has the solution we hope for. Most of life really is a journey to experience God — when we deeply experience our humanity and our stories.
Faith is not given to us to avoid life.
Faith is given, so we can hear the Voice who gently whispers,
“Come to me, weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28
Perfect peace is experienced when I place my trust in Jesus.
He is the One who is putting all the pieces back together again. Not me.
God is putting me back together. Making me whole. Complete.
But, I need to let him.
Christ being born in us — in the quiet places where we long for perfect peace. Birth is a messy journey, but it is real.
Perfect peace is a Person. Jesus.
It’s human nature to want editorial control of our lives.
But, Advent calls us to stop. To make room for God’s story to take shape in you and me.
To say, as Mary once did — Let it be.
Listen. The Christmas Story
When Mary first heard the news that she was chosen to carry God’s son, she experienced anything but peace.
“How could this be?” she asked.
She would be unwed and pregnant. Mary had plans of her own for her engagement, wedding and first year of marriage.
God’s reply to Mary and to us through the angel Gabriel was radical encouragement —
“Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” ~ Luke 1:37 MSG
Do we actually believe that God can do anything?
Mary could have responded with —
“Not this way…’
Instead, Mary believed —
“Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s… ready to serve.
Let it be with me just as you say.”
~ Luke 1:37 MSG
It dawned on me. What Mary saw wasn’t how things would work out.
Mary had no idea what was up ahead of her — giving birth with no friends or family around, returning to raise Jesus among rumors and innuendo, and seeing her son die unexpectedly at 33, hung as a criminal.
What Mary did see was that God would fill in the blanks. She was willing to be that space for His story.
Today, you and I are invited to be that space for God this Christmas too.
Will we fill in all the blanks?
Or will you let God write His story using ALL parts of yours?
This is the Peace of Christmas, God knows the way.
Receive. God’s Advent Whispers For You
Perfect peace isn’t found in forgetting.
Shalom peace is a putting back together. Wholeness. Real. Complete.
God whispers —
I love all of you.
I am your peace.
Without Jesus, we are left to only hope that things will change for the better. Together with Jesus, we can experience perfect peace because His love makes us better.
God knows you and He knows the way ahead.
He is your peace. And mine.
Respond. Share Your Heart
What is God telling you to do today?
What leap of faith do you need to take, as Christmas approaches, to let God be your perfect peace?
Pray. Our #OneWordAdvent Prayer Today
Dear Heavenly Father,
This my one word prayer: peace.
I can’t see ahead. I don’t know what to do. Here are all my fears and my questions… (share yours).
I want to experience your perfect peace.
Let it be with me. Just as you say.
Hold me, God, so I can hear you whisper to me, “You don’t have to know the way. I do.”
In Jesus name, Amen.
How is today’s devotional speaking to your heart?
Who can you share today’s encouragement with?
#OneWordAdvent Link Up
Whole-hearted Writing. You & Jesus.
Welcome to our special #OneWordAdvent Blog Link Up!
This week’s 12/10/15 #OneWordAdvent Prompt: peace
Next week’s 12/17/15 #OneWordAdvent Prompt: joy
OneWordAdvent is my invitation this month to do a Thursday weekly one word prompt writing challenge for you for Advent: hope, peace, joy, love.
* A special thank you goes to Jamie Johnson @writinginthestillness who gifted her time and talent to create soul beautiful calligraphy just for our #OneWordArt badges. Please visit Jamie’s shop & browse her artistry!
Join me. Here are two ways:
1. Link up your reflection on our #OneWordAdvent prompt at the end of Thursday’s blog post. Click the Link Up button below & share the specific url of your post (not just your website). You can also directly share a comment.
– Place the #OneWordAdvent badge in your blog post & link back to thebonniegray.com. It lets me know you’re part of this community. Download the badge by right-clicking your mouse on the image & click “save image”.
– Read the post before yours and comment. Let’s savor the journey together.
Experience a more soulful Christmas. ✒️ Pick up your pen, camera or brush. Share your Advent journey. ? Share today’s post to invite a friend to journey together.
May the writing prompt bring you to a quiet place in your soul as you share your voice. Click here for details.
Every week, I’ll spotlight a tagged #OneWordAdvent image from Instagram (like the beautiful one to the right) or blogger in our community. * To be considered as a spotlight blogger: please kindly be sure to use the #OneWordAdvent Badge and link back to Faith Barista in your post. Kindreds, I can’t wait to see your photos & read your words. Thank you for sharing your voice.