Peace. Where does it come from? How can we get it? There are many things, small and large, that sometimes try to undermine our sense of inner peace – health issues, relationship problems, family and work pressures, disturbances around us, to name a few.
One morning recently I was feeling a deep need for peace in my daily life. I knew from experience that a deeper sense of peace could be found through prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, the Monitor’s founder and the discoverer of Christian Science, writes: “Christian Science reinforces Christ’s sayings and doings. The Principle of Christian Science demonstrates peace” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 279).
It was then that I decided to go on a “peace safari.” Not the kind of safari that you see on TV, where a famous photographer goes to Africa to capture on film some native animals in their natural habitat. I would venture out on a safari of a different kind – a search of the Bible to find out more about the true source of that seemingly elusive thing called peace.
Turning to an online resource called Concord Express, I typed in the word “peace” and found that it appears in the Bible 400 times. One citation that I found especially meaningful said, referring to God, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee” (Job 22:21).
That Bible verse clued me in to the fact that true peace is not just that extreme quietness that one might find in a library. It is the harmony of spiritual reality, and can be found in getting better acquainted with God as our creator (see Genesis 1:26, 27). As the Bible points out (see I John 4:8) and Christian Science further explains, God is Love. This Love, by its very nature, is a constant, comforting, and always harmonious presence. Our real identity is the spiritual reflection of infinite Love.
But how can we feel the presence of harmony in our everyday lives when things get chaotic, noisy, and frustrating? The prophet Elijah felt God’s peaceful presence even in the face of chaos: “Behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (I Kings 19:11, 12).
When we look past the turbulence of the material senses, and pray to become more aware that God is Love and that we are the reflection of that Love, this opens the door to seeing more of God’s love and peace expressed in our lives. Mary Baker Eddy reminds us in the Christian Science textbook, “Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 89).
That particular morning, better understanding that I was a deeply loved child of our divine Parent made me feel peaceful again. I became less agitated about what was going on around me as I acknowledged my uninterrupted relationship to the loving presence that is God. And since then, I’ve found that I’ve been more focused on expressing love to others, knowing that divine Love is the source of all good.
Finding peace in our own lives through a growing understanding of God’s presence enables us to more effectively reach out in prayer to embrace those who suffer far more than we do – seeing everyone as held in God’s love. Knowing himself the peace that is found in God, Christ Jesus promised: “Peace I leave with you, 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” (John 14:27). What a timeless and comforting message, lighting the candle of peace for us all!