Searching, Ever Searching, for Peace
Grace Andrews of Independence, MO USA
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… -John 14:27
Our constant hope is for peace, peace through any storm. A terrible storm raged over the ocean. On the shore was a craggy rock formation jutting out over the water. Giant waves crashed on the rocks; wild winds tore through heavy rains, spraying rocks and shore with flooding waters. On one rocky ledge with an overhang protecting him, was a small bird; his throat swollen due to the volume of the song he was singing. On and on he loudly sang in the midst of fury all around him. May we all sing through our storms as we pray for peace.
And there was another storm. Jesus had ministered to the people all day; he was tired; he needed rest; He needed to get away from the surging crowds and just be quiet for a little while. We can all relate to that feeling. So he got in a boat with a few disciples and started across the lake. The water was smooth and calm, and he immediately was lulled to sleep. But soon a terrific storm brewed; the boat began to rock violently and was being swamped by huge waves. And Jesus slept. The disciples, all trained fishermen and very accustomed to inclement weather on the sea, were scared to death. They finally woke him, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re all going to drown.” Jesus calmly said, “Why are you afraid? You of little faith.” He rebuked the wind and the sea, and the boat was once again on peaceful waters.
We’ve all been on troubled waters when thoughts of peace were a world away. And we’ve all likely been acquainted with troubled individuals who find no joy in life. They’ve buried themselves deep inside the dark cave they’ve crawled into. No matter our efforts to convince them that they are persons of worth, that God loves them dearly, our positive comments bounce off as they hurl negatives back. For them, there is no peace. Communication is difficult. After trying over and over and failing to persuade them, we sadly walk away, discouraged.
But there is One who will never walk away. God gives us God’s full attention. God always has time to listen to us. In our best moments God’s love is reflected through us. We are called to pay attention, to listen, to be interested in others in spite of\’ the darts thrown in our direction. We are never forced to love; rather we are invited to assist Jesus in sharing God\’s peace.
We recently received word that Sako Sekine, wife of former Apostle Kisuke Sekine, had passed away. They were a precious couple and, in spite of troubling moments, they continued to give quiet, loving ministry to everyone they encountered. When they lived in Independence, we were privileged to visit several times in their home. I was humbled each time “Seke” greeted me as we passed each other in the halls. He would fold his hands, bow before me, and say, “Namaste.” The Hindu definition is “I bow to the divine in you.” His interpretation was “The Jesus in me sees the Jesus in You.” What a beautiful thought. No matter race, religion, politics, whatever…let us recognize Namaste in each other and share God’s peace with everyone we meet. Only then will the kingdom be brought near. May that time come quickly is my prayer.
I surrender into your love, O God.
What might it look like to surrender a little to God each day? A simple prayer of surrender can help us become aware of God’s consistent invitations to deeper relationship and awareness. Imagine when you encounter a challenging person or situation silently uttering this prayer, “I surrender into your love, O God.” The same prayer can be meaningful in moments of joy and gratitude as a way of returning to the awareness of oneness with God. It’s ok if we don’t surrender everything all at once all the time. The prayer of surrender is a constant practice of returning little by little to the deepest love that is the ground of our being and desires wholeness and oneness for us and all creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.