A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to speak at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Their theme for the year was PEACE and their theme verse was Philippians 4:7. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ6uLt-VnQo&w=560&h=315]
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7
This peace that surpasses all understanding is the peace OF GOD. This is a God who is immanent, transcendent and omnipresent. So peace of a God like that is available NOW. This peace is here and available now.
The problem is we fight and resist it.
Why would we resist that sort of peace? More importantly, HOW do we resist that peace?
That is answered in verse 6. If I am not experiencing peace that is available to me in my life, it is likely because I am anxious in everything and praying in nothing.
I remember an old metal desk I once had when I was much younger. Green. Shaky. Short-lived metal desk with two small drawers. I don't recall what ever happened to the desk, but I remember having one of the drawers years later. That drawer may even still be in an attic somewhere in Wisconsin for all I know. The drawer was very important because it contained treasure. It was the place I collected only the most important things to me at the time. To most people, it would have been filled with worthless junk. In fact, I am not too sure I would want any of it NOW (I don't even know where the drawer IS.) But each item in that drawer was well thought out and discerned with care of its worth and warrant as determined by me at that time. I was careful to think long and hard about what should make its way into my drawer. All other items were unworthy of the drawer.
Whether or not the items are of any value now, they were important enough to be sure I kept hold on the drawer even after the desk was long gone; even after several family moves later. I was devoted to taking care of that drawer because it contained important items, and those items made all the effort worth the work and care.
I remembered a little metal drawer after reading through Philippians 4 today, specifically verses 6-8.
The last couple weeks, I have read my Bible a lot, but I cannot say I have really "come to God's word" today. I have been disciplined at reading a book the last couple weeks, but not disciplined in connecting with God in that reading or much of anything for a couple weeks. Philippians 4:6-8 has struck me to the heart to realize how important that time needs to be.
My heart and mind are little metal drawers, and that time I set aside to read through scripture or do ANYTHING needs to be approached with that in mind. There are all sorts of things that pass through my heart and mind in the course of a day; thoughts and ideas about God, myself, others, the world... Which of those things make their way into my heart's drawer?
"Because," says Henri Nouwen, "in this useless hour in which you do nothing 'important' or 'urgent', you have come to terms with your basic powerlessness...you will find out that your many projects, plans, and obligations become less urgent, crucial, and important and lose their power over you. They will leave you free during your time with God and take their appropriate place in your life."