EVERYBODY wants peace! Yet what can we do when things happen that disturb or even seem to take away our peace, when pressures build or troubles loom? At such times, we may long for a more permanent peace, one that can't be lost. There is a verse from the Bible that has always helped me regain or keep a sense of peace. It is Christ Jesus' comment to his disciples just before he was betrayed and crucified. He said: ``My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.''1
What could be more encouraging than such a statement coming from a man who knew he was soon going to be putting his life on the line as proof of his understanding of God! The Master says that the peace he gives isn't ``as the world giveth.'' To me, that means he wasn't talking about the kind of peace we can lose if too many things go wrong. Instead, he was talking about the spiritual peace that comes from God and that is permanently ours.
This peace comes to us through Christ, through gaining the true idea of God and of our relationship to Him. Jesus made clear that man is spiritual and, as such, man is fully under God's loving law. But more than just presenting abstract knowledge, Jesus backed up his teaching with healing works that proved the validity of his words. In each case, he was able to impart peace to those in trouble. But he didn't stop there. He also healed the individual of whatever difficulty he or she was facing.
Your prayers and mine can gain strength from the Master's example. First, we can pray to God to be able to know and feel the permanence of our relationship to Him. By feeling closer to God, we begin to regain our peace. But we can also pray to find a healing solution to the difficulties that are making us feel so unpeaceful. We do this by opening our hearts to new recognition that God, good, is in fact the only Mind of man. And because there is only this one Mind, one God, the truth of any situation is already known to Mind. When we turn to divine Mind in prayer, then, we are claiming our unity with divine intelligence. And this will lead us to the solution that we need.
This oneness of Mind helps us in all cases of conflict, whether the trouble is within ourselves or with other people. And we can confidently trust God to lead us to a resolution of our difficulties. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says of God in her Miscellaneous Writings, ``Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss.''2
Sometimes this spiritual leading will show us that we need to be more loving toward others. Or it may bring to our attention a difficulty that another is going through and that calls for our tenderness and compassion. But if we pray with open hearts, really desiring to follow God's direction, the peace we seek will come. If we still wonder what might happen over the long run, we can gain confidence from the example of Jesus' own life. By the close of his earthly career, the Master had proved many, many times that God's power gives the needed wisdom whatever the circumstances.
So, too, in our own lives, as we start out with simpler proofs of God's love, we gradually build up our willingness to trust Him. And as we become more willing to rely on Him, it is easier to maintain our peace even during the most difficult times. The crucial thing is to start with the prayer that brings the spiritual peace of God's presence. It can bring this peace to you, too.
1John 14:27. 2Mis., p. 263.