by Afton Rorvik
Some days my head spins with details on my to-do lists and my heart feels as if it could literally crack under the weight of concerns for people I love.
On these days I crawl into my favorite chair and talk to God about it all and beg Him for perspective and strength. If only I could stay in this chair all day, wrapping God’s love around me like a warm blanket. But life calls: responsibilities, decisions, opportunities, people.
And, truthfully, it is the people part of life that so often disrupts my sense of peace and sends me back to my chair. Because I care about people, I hear and see their pain. I want to listen. I want to help.
Other days I just want to block it all out—no emails, no texts, no phone calls, no conversations. Just Jesus and me. Peace! Quiet! Solitude!
Life with people is messy. And joy-filled. Challenging. And life-giving.
The other day, while sitting in my perspective-setting chair, I read this in Colossians 3:15: “Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing.” (MSG)
I have read this verse many times in the NIV but reading it in a different version brought a new perspective. I saw, as I had never seen before, the connection between the peace of Christ and the ability to keep in tune with each other.
So many times I have hugged the peace of Christ to myself in order to feel better. I have NOT regarded the peace of Christ as something that helps me reach out, something to help me live life with people. And, when faced with a challenging situation, I have thought to myself over and over, I can do this. I will just roll up my sleeves and do this.
This verse reminds me that the peace of Christ should become my fuel for reaching toward people and working to develop relationships with them, something that resembles a complicated, beautiful song. It also reminds me that a song sounds richer and stronger with multiple voices. Living for Jesus is not a solo act.
Just like any driver of a traditional car, I must refuel frequently—fill up my tank with the peace of Christ. I can do that in my chair, yes. But then I must push myself to stand up and leave that chair and go connect with messy, encouraging, hurting, thoughtful people.
Many congregations as part of their weekly service encourage members to turn to someone around them and extend a handshake and a greeting: “The peace of Christ be with you.” Congregants often respond: “And also with you.”
What a beautiful sound as a building buzzes with the words, “The peace of Christ.” And what a clear, visual reminder that the peace of Christ is meant to be shared, not hugged to ourselves in a comfortable chair in a serene living room.
Life with people. Life fueled by the peace of Christ.
“. . .so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:18 NASB
About the author: Afton Rorvik loves shaping words, reading books, listening to music, drinking coffee with friends, traveling, and savoring the words in her favorite book—the Bible. In 2014 Afton published Storm Sisters (Worthy), a story-filled book about learning to stick around when storms hit a friend’s life. You can connect with Afton on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Join the conversation: How has God’s peace affected your relationships?