Those who know me know I love people. Some know I can be intense. My kids know I can be any number of emotions at once. If I had to describe myself I’d probably use words like loud, intense, at times angry or sad, friendly, sometimes joyful. There are so many words I could use, varying at different times in my life or day. Recently though, I had a friend say that they enjoyed being in my presence, that I was peaceful.
Now that is not a word I would have ever chosen to describe myself. In the chaos that my life often is, peaceful, though felt, is not something I believe I portray well.
In John 14:27 Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” According to Miriam-Webster, peace is “a state of tranquility or quiet”. Now I can tell you, quiet is not something I generally am, especially around this person. I can be loud, I harass (lovingly), and I laugh in volumes everyone can hear. I’m always moving, never still at these times, yet somehow I emit a sense of peace?
In this first statement Jesus specifies that it’s not just leave he gives us, but his peace. His peace which is his very being. It’s not a state of mind or circumstance, but rather at his core. His peace is unchanging, unwavering.
Looking further into this verse Jesus goes on to say “I do not give to you as the world gives”. My understanding of the definition of peace is that the peace the world gives is largely dependant in circumstances, what’s happening around you, and how you react. In contrast, the peace Jesus gives does not come from any outside event but rather the Holy Spirit within. It is therefore neither affected by any outside circumstance, nor can it be simply taken away.
One reason I think Jesus was like the pied piper and followed everywhere he went was this peace he fully encompassed. This peace draws people in, they long to be in its presence.
This same peace draws people to you. They long to be in the presence of the Jesus in you. How are you allowing this peace to flow through you to be evident in your life? In what way can others around you see it in action?