great peace

Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.

I rarely seem to experience this “great peace” which the psalmist mentioned in this psalm. I all too easily can become distracted by the storm, the wind and the waves of life, and can become transfixed on them. During those times I know no peace at all. Usually the Lord meets me at a certain point not too far removed from such times, like less than a day, and I get some sense of relief.

But by and large I live in kind of the middlin’ country, in which I at least know in my head a kind of peace, or sense it, but rarely really seem to experience it. But there are exceptions, and I think the Lord is helping me to begin to realize those exceptions a bit more.

The psalmist refers to those who love God’s law, God’s instructions and word. When you read that psalm (the really long one) and the section where this verse is found, you read the witness of someone who certainly has not arrived. They suffer, and they don’t always have peace, this peace of heart and mind. Or at least a peace related to the shalom of God’s kingdom by which they can persevere in life without stumbling contrary to the law of God which they love.

When we love God’s directions to us, the path he calls us to in Jesus, we can begin to experience the peace which passes all understanding. Which goes beyond what we think we know, even what we do know to the God who truly knows everything, who knows our hearts, and every detail of our lives, our concerns for others, etc., etc.

At work I do best when I simply am set on the task at hand. Yes, looking forward to the breaks which bring some rest. But persevering, and not letting myself get distracted by this or that thought. In fact there are certain things I have to do at work, which if I begin to think about what I’m doing, I can lose track of what I’m supposed to do. Those few things I need simply to do as I’ve done now for years. And all is well.

It’s the same kind of idea here. We need to persevere in the will and way God gives us in his grace in and through Jesus. And then God’s peace can more and more settle and prevail in our lives. And out from our lives to others.

This is not only a peace from God for ourselves, but for others, even through our lives, witness and prayers. We are blessed with this shalom from God to be a blessing to the world around us in the ways God gives us to extend that blessing. The same in general things we all are called to do, but different for each of us, according  to our different gifts both in what we do and who we are. As we go on in this world, assured of God’s grace and peace to us through Jesus, together for the world.