In summer, many of us travel to different parts of the country or different countries of the world for holidays. Some go in search of adventure and excitement. Others pursue hobbies and interests which take them to different places. But for many, it is relaxation and peace which is being sought far from home. Many holidays may compromise a mixture of these elements.
On the coast or in the countryside we can get away from the busyness of work and everyday life – maybe somewhere with less traffic and noise. In this way we can find a degree of peace for a few days. That peace is an absence of noise, stress and pressure. It is good for us.
In the Bible we read about an even greater sense of peace. The biblical concept of peace (shalom) is not just the absence of noise and conflict – it includes a sense of wholeness and well-being. This type of peace comes when we are in right relationship with our loving heavenly father.
When Jesus was talking to his followers on the night before he died, he said “I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.” (John’s Gospel Chapter 16 verse 33). Jesus was always honest about the troubles and difficulties which we all face in life. It is in the midst of those troubles and difficulties that he offers us his peace.
If we can only find peace for a few days a year, away from home, then our lives will not be very peaceful and we will lack a sense of wholeness and well-being. But if we come to Jesus and through him find peace from God then that peace can remain with us throughout the year. A peace which is within us and does not depend on outward circumstances is a true blessing from God. This summer, I encourage you to seek this peace which can be nurtured in prayer and bible-reading, in quiet contemplation of the beauty of God’s creation and in joining in fellowship with Christians at home or away.