A boat doesn’t sink because of the stormy waters around it, but because of the water that gets inside. It’s not about what’s around you. It’s about what’s within you.
Over the past month, I’ve had a lot of emotions trying to take root in my heart. Hurt. Anger. Bitterness. Frustration. Sadness. All of those emotions began fueling what felt like a hurricane in my soul. A raging storm that wanted to drown me in hopelessness. But a few months ago, the Lord asked me to draw a line in the sand and refuse to ever call any situation, person, or relationship hopeless when speaking to the God of Hope.
So, instead of giving in to the storm, I began feeding my peace.
I poured over scripture after scripture about peace, and then I camped out in Psalm 34:14, which says, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Other versions say, “Practice being at peace.” I began asking the question: What does it look like to practice being at peace?
As I studied, I found that the Hebrew word for peace (Shalom) is made up of four letters:
- Shin is a picture of teeth and means “to destroy.”
- Lamed is a shepherd’s staff, representing authority.
- Vav is a picture of a hook, which means to bind.
- Mem is a picture of water and can represent chaos.
If you put those letter pictures together, Shalom Peace is a picture of “destroying the authority that binds us to chaos.”
So, in John 14:27, when Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you,” He was gifting us His peace, which destroys the (stolen) authority that tries to bind us to chaos. We know any “authority” of the enemy is stolen, because Jesus told us in Matthew 28 that He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
Jesus then continues, “I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Which means that to pursue or practice peace is to not allow your heart to be troubled or afraid of the things going on around you. To hold steadfast to the truth that He who is in us is greater than he who is in this world.
When Jesus and the disciples were caught in the storm, Jesus rebuked the wind (the chaos of the atmosphere), but He spoke to the waves, “Peace. Be still.” When we have a hurricane inside of us, we rebuke the spirit that binds us to chaos, and we speak to our hearts: Peace. Be Still.
So, that’s what I have been speaking over my heart and my soul for the past four weeks. I refuse to be distracted by the illusions and schemes of the enemy. I refuse to let the hurt or bitterness take root. I refuse to give wind to the hurricane. I refuse to feed the storm.
Instead, I pursue the gift of peace, and I speak to my heart.