on holding peace

Some of my best writing inspiration seems to come after periods of traveling, no matter the duration or distance, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence. Something about a fresh horizon, new perspectives, a break in routine, and novel situations keep our minds active, yet somehow also at rest.

That’s why so many of us travel for vacation. Being in a new environment, a novel territory if you will, allows a sort of stillness to enter. It’s one we struggle to access amidst the daily grind and logjam of our minds. Our ‘mental space’ is so occupied with everything and everyone in front of us that were more likely to be running on fumes and coffee #3 of the day rather than yielding to “the pace of peace” (Joe Riddle).

Funny how when the mind is still, true hearing and revelation ensues.

I became overwhelmed with the thought that if a simple vacation, or even just a different route home from work, can transport our minds to such a newfound state of peace and refreshment, imagine what His holy presence can do.

This week I came across the verse:

  

 

If that’s not the biggest relief you’ve heard in a while I don’t know what is. Maybe you should read it again. Lord knows I read it like 5 times…

The Lord will fight FOR you.
You shall hold YOUR peace and
remain at REST.

[In cast you missed it, that’s the affirmation of an eternal vacation.]

HALLELUJAH.

But seriously–I was blown away at the simple instruction of “hold your peace” in that verse. I was all the more blown away when I watched someone so very close to me actually live it out. In those three short statements, the only instruction is to hold your peace—to pursue it, to seek it, to proclaim it, to guard it, to endear it. And by doing so, all the disorder & complication is transcended to  a state of rest.

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How? Because the Lord of Heaven & Earth is fighting this [already won] battle unbeknownst to us, promising to prosper and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). And because “proclaiming the name of Jesus brings power, protection, and a perspective that crushes fear. It is *the* name above every other”. Simply because of who he is [perfect love], every little thing returns to its proper place & is not only ‘figureoutable’, but transformed.

 

 Now, notice a keyword in the phrase “hold your peace” is the possessive pronoun: ‘your’.

For all you non-English majors, a possessive pronoun shows ownership. Which demonstrates that creating peace in your midst is ‘your’ responsibility.  It shows how you’ve been given full access to peace, without expectation,  by the God who came so that you may have life & have it to the full (John 10:10).

It also tells us that ‘your’ state of ease is different than someone else’s. There’s no room for comparison in a game life of peace. Why? 

Because…

The Lord will fight FOR you

My battles are different than yours, and yours than mine. But we all have them. 

I’m sharing this with you because I know what it’s like to fight peace, rather than claiming it and letting God do the fighting for me.

I also know what it’s like to claim it once, only to be reminded that I have to keep claiming it.

That whole concept of “renewing your mind” is unfortunately not like a once-a-year “spring cleaning” kind-of-deal. It’s more like a daily–ok fine, every-single-moment kind-of-thing.

At times I’ve felt so fully capable of fighting for myself [like downright defiant & justified], that I forget He’s the one who gave me a fighting spirit in the first place. Even still, He’s asking me to hang up my weapons, hold peace instead, and offers to sacrifice himself at the front line for me, over and over again.  ✞ 

No battle is too small, no battle is too large for Him.

Not surprisingly, the more I study His word, the more I know how backwards my thinking used to be. I’d like to think I’m not 100% alone in that  thinking either.

We become so distant, so head strong against peace, not because we don’t like it or don’t want it, but because the feeling of it has become so foreign, so unfamiliar; that we don’t even know its presence when were in its midst. We’re in the habit of fighting just to fight.

Separation is as simple as being in a different location from somebody or something else. Which, doesn’t seem that abnormal until you think about how the further you stray from holding peace, the more you’re separated from God’s presence.

yosmetie trees

This ‘seemingly foreign’ nature of peace leads to the tireless longing, the endless confusion, the depths of discontent, the persistent paranoia, the restless anxiety, and a life of penetrating pain and heartbreak. The distance between knowing and unknowing widens, the gap grows, and the ‘familiar comfort in separation’ stifles true intimacy with our Creator.

We fight because we won’t take flight on the idea that God’s grace + peace already covers whatever we’re fighting—may it be sin, shame, mistreatment, tragedy, burn out, or any other kind of tribulation. 

In reflection of this year [and every year of my life thus far] I can confidently say that every good thing I’ve received has come from:

  1. A moment of choosing peace
  2. Surrender
  3. His timing
  4. His grace

It is by choice and surrender, and only through this surrender, that we enable the once ‘comfortably-uncomfortable’ distance between His peace & ourselves to shrink.

Hey, I get it. I know what you’re thinking. 

I know all to well how drawing near to peace seems like such a comforting ideal until its your turn and then it becomes downright frightening & confusing. We withhold, standing off, fearful of judgement, unacceptance, let down, failure and heartbreak.

Me? Hold peace? Yea, right.

We plant down only to uproot faster than a T5 storm takes out a whimsy tree. We sing his praises until they’re put to the test. So I’ll remind us all again, like it or not:

Creating peace in your midst is your responsibility.

Letting go certainly isn’t a passive act and surrender isn’t always a sign of defeat. In fact, it is the very essence of courage, bravery, and faith. It takes choosing peace & surrendering to actively let go of fighting.

To relinquish control to a force we cannot comprehend is one of life’s greatest mysteries, and simultaneously, its greatest gift.
The Lord will fight FOR you.
You shall hold YOUR peace and
remain at REST.

When you draw nearer to peace, you step into freedom. You step into all He has for you (Bethel Music).  So this holiday season I wish you the gift of His presence. The gift of peace. A fresh start, a season of broadened horizons, a heart that’s strengthened, and a vision that’s sharpened.  

Hang your weapons, take heart, and by all means–r e s t, dear Child.

K.V

*Author’s note: Sometimes I have no idea where these post inspirations come from [cough, God & people], but when they do, I hit paper with them and can’t ever seem to hold back from sharing with you. So thanks for reading because it encourages me right back more than you know. We’re all in this together, after all. 

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