“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15, NLT).
“Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].” (Colossians 3:15, AMP)
When I closed my eyes while meditating on this passage, I saw what looked like a sand shark trying to rest, but yet it never stopped moving. I heard a voice say, “If a shark stops moving, it dies.” I know that message is for me because, like the shark, I struggle with rest. Often when I think I’m resting, I’m actually looking for the escape hatch.
There’s a vast difference between rest and escape. Rest allows us to embrace our current circumstances, no matter how painful. Escape seeks to avoid pain altogether.
I don’t know about you, but I have an incredibly hard time experiencing the pain of life. I struggle just as much when I watch other people deal with it. It’s probably why I have a strong desire to write fictional stories yet find it very difficult to do so. I don’t even want the characters in my stories to suffer! How messed up am I?
Suffering brings in the tension most stories need to capture the attention of the audience. However, when I watch a movie for the first time, I cannot relax. I just want to get to the end and then watch it again when I know how it ends. The second time is much more relaxing. I don’t struggle with the pain and uncertainty of the story when I know how it ends. Thus, the secret to relaxing and resting in the moment is to know the end of the story.
Hasn’t Jesus already shown us the end of the story?
The more I fix my eyes on Jesus and what He’s revealed about the end of the story, the more relaxed I will be in each step of my journey.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” (Colossian 3:1-4, NLT)
Setting my sights on the realities of heaven is a personal choice.
I can choose to look to Jesus, who is my life, and trust His promises about the end of all things, and what comes after. That’s rest.
Or I can trust in myself instead. That’s the pride of life.
There’s no rest in pride, in deciding to carry my own burdens. There’s only one way to experience the kind of peace which allows me to relax in each step of my journey through life.
I must keep my sights set on trusting what Jesus says about Himself, about me, and about the end of the story.
This is how I let the peace of Christ rule my heart.