This is peace: To fill a glass Communion cup, one in a set of four that your sister blessed you with years ago, and take a Communion wafer from the container where they are kept. To place all these things on the lace-topped antique sewing table on which you now display such items as an olive-wood cross made in Jerusalem. To look with admiration on that table, and on the chairs you’ve placed near it, and to remember that just beneath the altar-table is the chest in which you keep tangible memories of your spiritual life, and on top of this the velvet bag in which you keep anointing oil. To anticipate time in Jesus—this is peace.
This is peace: To seat yourself on the ottoman that accompanied the gliding rocker you purhcased several years ago. To feel that piece of furniture, not really made for your seat but doing just fine as a temporary worship location, thank you!—to feel it creek and sway a bit as you sit down, and to remember that both the glider and the ottoman feature a runner-and-frame construction that is downright graceful and has provided hours far more enjoyable than the LazyBoy company has ever been able to supply. To recall the day when you listened to Vineyard’s worship music as you re-upholstered all the relevant cushions for both pieces of furniture. Worn, roughened near-burlap would never do—it had to be that deep-blue, velvet fabric you picked up somewhere. As you think on that day of fabric, safety pins, and purest adoration, you remember another glorious time when you were in the manifest glory of God, His holy presence. That day is too personal to print now, though you may try later. His glory—that is peace.
This is peace: To seek out worship music, and to find an abundance of it. Voices blended in unison, illustrating in vivid audible detail Jesus’ words: “Where two or more are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them”. And so it is—listening to those recordings from Keswick and Stoneleigh conferences, Hosanna! Music, and the various Vineyard churches and Calvary Chapels, you hear the anointing of the Holy Spirit in each one of the singers’ instruments. Musicians’ lutes cry out in praise, and harps and pianos join the symphony of adoration. Those beloved, old, refreshing, new songs—yet more and greater peace.
This is peace: Just surrendering. “Just to trust His cleansing blood…” Taking all the turmoil of the carnal trials you’ve experienced over the past three weeks and placing them at the foot of the cross. Remembering His promises neither to leave nor to forsake you, and believing them. Recalling, too, His recent promise to your heart, that He would restore you and return years wasted in sorrow and mourning, that He would cause you to forget the pain of past spiritual deserts… His promises—infinite, unspeakable peace.
This is peace: A precious song, by the Starsong Artists if it matters at all, entitled “How Beautiful”. To hear the Gospel outlined, then proclaimed, in this anthem. Ah, the amalgomation of the music you’ve just been cherishing and the promises the Lord has just reiterated to you! “How beautiful”, how beautiful indeed… And now is the time to allow those words of joy and comfort to wash over you, to renmember His gift as you prepare for Communion, to think on “the body of Christ”, the hands that served and the feet that walked the road to Calvary, the heart that loved us and forgave and took our sins… His gift, His sacrifice—is there anymore room for that flood of peace?
This is peace: To forgit that, ten minutes before, you had not really even been feeling close to the Lord. To remember that life lived in Him is not about feelings and experience, but at the same time to rejoice in what you are being given. To worship with your very, with your heart and mind and soul and strength, to attempt to pour words onto paper, to set down His love so that others may read about all that the Lord is able to do–His power and glory and might. To love the Lord—purest peace.
This is peace. We call it the Normal Christian Life, we sometimes dismiss it when all is going well, we take it for granted when we allow ourselves to forget—but this is the sort of joy, love, and blessing that the Lord pours out upon us day by day. This is the relationship that God wants for us to have with Himself, the contented, worship-saturated life we have the privilege of leading. And it is so wonderful to draw and be drawn nigh unto Him, to trust in His provision, to accept freedom and reject the lie of bondage that has consumed you for so many days. Above all, to remember His words: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you. I do not give as the world gives…” Perfect peace.
Addendum: No, not my usual song credit—you’ll find that in the body of this post. A year or so ago, I read an account by a father of a developmentally-delayed child. This little girl had a great deal of difficulty communicating most of the time. One day, though, she was on the beach, just appreciating so many of the small details that many people would overlook. Suddenly, she cried out, “This is beauty—hallelujah!” The father was taken aback, but was soon caught up in his daughter’s elation. Down the beach they danced and frolicked, both of them taking up the daughter’s concept and periodically shouting, “This is beauty—hallelujah!” Oh, that we all praised our Lord with so spontaneous and devoted a heart! This is my contribution to that effort. This is His overwhelming peace—hallelujah!