A dictionary definition of peace goes this way: “the absence of war and other hostilities.” I beg to disagree from that definition. The cliché goes this way: “peace is not the absence of war…” I forgot the next line, but one thing’s for sure, peace is not the opposite of war.
I remember Esther from the book of Paulo Coelho, The Zahir. She became a war correspondent and found peace among the citizens of that war-torn country. Therefore, it is true that peace is not the absence of war, for even if there is an on-going war, peace could still reside in each heart of the people.
At the start of this year 2007, I prayed to God for peace. I begged Him to please make me at peace to wherever He would lead me, not only in YFC, but in all aspects of my life-family, acads, etc. Indeed, everyday, He gives me reasons to hold on to Him, and pray for peace.
Throughout, I was wondering how it is like being at peace amidst a war. Yes, everyday, we’re in a war of our own. However, I was searching for something, more than the petty wars of our everyday lives.
After a week of learning more about Him, secluded from the rest of the world, without connection with the media and all that is happening around-elections, school, family, God put an end to my searching. Indeed, He is a God of surprises. He surprised me, with a very loud bang, He crushed me. I did not see that coming. Or maybe, I chose not to see it.
A part of me was at the lowest point of my life. I would cry, pray, and cry once more. Everything was so heavy, and its weight just weakens me. For almost a week I was like that. When my most awaited night came, something I never imagined happened. I was left there, sitting alone, being tempted in every way, of course using that heavy thing in my heart. It was so hard for me, but praise God I was able to overcome it. That night, I prayed like I never prayed before. I asked for protection from the evil one. I asked for His hand not to let go of mine. Surrender. I was asking Him how I am going to surrender this heavy thing in my heart, telling Him that I don’t know what it would mean if I surrender this very thing that is weakening me. At this very point, someone came and I was able to rejoin the others.
When I got home, I prayed once more, asked Him to help me process what happened. That night, I was just so thankful of that incidence, for I was able to realize so many things, things that I could not have realized if everything went as was initially planned. The heavy thing in my heart was gone, I felt lighter than I was before. I didn’t know what it was, as if it was something foreign.
A day or two after, as I was worshipping Him while the wind was blowing against my face, I realized what that sort-of-foreign thing was. It was the peace of God, peace amidst a great war. I cannot do anything else but to praise our God. He’s far greater than our hearts, and He granted me that peace I desired.
I believe a lot of reinforcements from the enemy would worsen the war throughout this academic year. Nonetheless would I put all my trust in God that He would always give me the grace and grant me peace-my heart’s desire. I may not be able to understand what could and would happen in that area of my life, but God assures me that as long as I have that peace from Him, it is not important if I understand. What is important is to keep my mind, and heart in Jesus Christ, allowing Him to use my hands for His work.
“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)