Summary: Peace is God holding you together while everything else around you is falling apart.

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Jehovah Shalom – The Lord Who Is Peace

Judges 6:22-24

Martin R De Haan II in his booklet: “Surviving the Storms of Stress”, tells a story of a woman named Nancy. Nancy’s glass of stress is full and overflowing. Wedged between the demands of single-parenting, a rebellious son, and managing an office, she has just about had it. When she heard that Martin was writing a book on stress and peace, she said, ‘Oh, I’m reading something right now about how to cope with stress. I hope I find it in time!’”

Most of us pressure cooker people would consider it a success just to cope with our stress. To cope is to struggle or contend on fairly even terms. In other words, to cope is to be satisfied with keeping your head above water, so to speak.

But, does God call us to live in peace or just to cope.

We’re living in a time with so much tension. Bad economy, violence, drive by shouting, potential layoffs, insufficient employment benefits, wars and rumors of wars. Stress seems to be all around us; in our homes, relationships, jobs, church, and even in our sleep. Sleep is supposed to be peaceful. But it seems our sleep is filled with the nightmares of daily stressful activities. When we do wake up we wish we never did or we’re just has tired waking as the night before.

Stress, anxiety, frustration, pain, and worry, just to cope isn’t enough. As a matter of fact we cope in all the wrong ways. We cope with alcohol, drugs, sex, eating, lying, fantasy, television, sleeping our lives away, feeling sorry for ourselves, spending money we don’t have, ignoring the realities of life, hanging out with the wrong people, taking prescription drug medication, moving to another state, or whatever we can find to cope with stress and worry.

There once lived a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, in which lightening played and thunder roared. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest. He declared the second artist the winner because his picture was the perfect peace.

The King explains that "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace." - Author Unknown

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