Ah, the Peace
Here’s a question. What’s a five-letter word for peace that starts with a b? Stumped? Let me offer some clues. It’s a place where treasures can be had for free. Both children and adults love to go there (dogs do too). And now for the clincher—it’s a word that rhymes with peach. By now you know I’m thinking of the word beach. Some of the most peaceful moments of my life have been spent walking along a beach, feasting my eyes on sparkling blue water dancing in the sunlight. Ah, now that is my idea of peace.
But to be sure, it’s a fleeting sort of peace, an interlude between times that are more hectic, tense, or difficult. But even with these, there is a kind of peace that can endure. The only catch regarding this brand of peace is that it doesn’t come easily. In fact it is often the fruit of struggle.
Martin Luther once made a rather surprising statement: “My temptations,” he said, “have been my masters in divinity.” Rick Warren supports this idea, pointing out that temptation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Why? Because it can become a stepping stone to spiritual maturity, presenting not just an opportunity to do wrong but an opportunity to do right. Every time you choose to do the right thing, you become more like Christ.
“Character development always involves a choice,” Warren says. “And temptation provides that opportunity.” He goes on to say that “God develops real peace within us, not by making things go the way we planned, but by allowing times of chaos and confusion. Anyone can be peaceful watching a beautiful sunset or relaxing on vacation. We learn real peace by choosing to trust God in circumstances in which we are tempted to worry or be afraid .”
In light of these truths, it looks like I may need to revise my theory that peace=beach. Or maybe it does, as long as when we’re enjoying the beauty of creation we take the opportunity to resist temptation, becoming more like the Lord we love. More
 Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 201-202.
(Image courtesy of Balaji.B at flickr.com)