“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” John 14:27 NIV
Do you ever long for just a few minutes of peace and quiet?
I know I do. Recently, I felt like I was going to drown in a sea of overwhelm. Together with my wise husband, my Christian therapist, and a trusted friend, I realized that part of the problem is ALL THE NOISE.
Have you experienced this too?
In an effort to stay informed, we watch the news, scroll social media, listen to talk shows, scan newsletters, read the latest bestseller, listen to our favorite podcasts, and try to cram in a few minutes of Bible reading too. No wonder we’re so overwhelmed! We’re consuming loads of information with little margin for reflection, contemplation, or silence.
So I’ve been wondering: What would it take to quiet the noise and find a place of quiet rest for our minds and hearts? I don’t have all the answers, but as I’ve been talking with God about this, here are a few noise-makers I’m pausing to pursue peace in this season:
- Log off of social media. If you’ve been around for a while, you know I take regular breaks from Instagram and Facebook. This summer, I’m popping in on Wednesdays (when I feel like it) to check in with my readers, but other than that, I’m giving myself permission to miss out. In case you’re wondering: yes, it’s okay to log off for a few months. Acquaintances, groups, and forums will be there when you get back. Your soul will thank you for the quiet.
- Remove email and social media apps. This was easy for me. And honestly? I don’t miss them at all. I check email on my laptop when I have time to actually reply to those that need a response, and it’s easier to hit “unsubscribe” on my laptop too. Plus, if you need to check something on Instagram or Facebook real quick, you’re less likely to get sucked into the endless scroll if you’re at your computer.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters. This was probably the hardest for me. I hit “unsubscribe” about 35 times this past week. I really enjoy learning from others, but I felt like I was drowning in resources and recommendations, and maybe you are too. It’s okay to unsubscribe for a season and come back when you’re ready.
- Pause the podcasts. Again, this one’s hard for me. I really enjoy podcasts. I’m subscribed to about 25, and podcasts are my go-to entertainment for chores. But again: too much noise. So I’ve unsubscribed, for now, giving myself permission to sign up again at the end of summer for any podcasts I’ve missed.
And once we’ve quieted the noise, we’ve also made room in our lives for the peace of God. Here are some peaceful rhythms I’m folding into my life this summer:
- Go on quiet walks.Now that we’ve made room in our lives for peace and quiet, it’s time to enjoy God’s beautiful creation with His Spirit as our conversational partner. Talk to Him about what’s heavy on your heart. Reflect on your relationships. Be curious about what He brings to mind.
- Relish the silence.My husband recently commented that it’s okay to be bored while doing house chores. And truly, how often have we had ideas “pop” into our minds while doing mundane things like showering? Let’s learn to make peace with silence.
- Write your prayers. Remember what I said about too much input with too little opportunity for reflection? This summer, I’m taking more time to reflect, to write out my thoughts, fears, worries, and ponderings in conversation with God. I might journal my way through Scripture (using our Prayers of REST journal), or just freewrite what’s on my mind.
- Seek His stillness.Relish the gift of being quiet with the Creator of the Universe. Stop talking and rushing and hurrying long enough to simply be still with Him (see Psalm 46:10).
Ultimately, all these practices are ways of quieting our souls to become aware of God’s loving presence within us, through His Holy Spirit. I think of David’s words in Psalm 131:2: I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.
You know what weaned children do? They nestle in their mother’s embrace, content to hear her heartbeat. So as we rest in God’s loving presence, His Spirit brings peace to our hearts, a peace that passes understanding, a peace that only He can give.
From the podcast…
If you’re praying through the Fruit of the Spirit with us this summer, take 10 minutes to invite God to work His peace in your life today and then keep reading or, you can click here to listen to Fruit of the Spirit 05: Peace.
Let’s begin by Reciting God’s Goodness, praising Him for who He is and what He has done in our lives…
Prince of Peace, You offer Your peace to all who abide in You. Thank You for the many times You’ve guarded my heart and mind with Your peace, keeping me from spiraling out of control.
- “In the next few moments, praise God for how He has shown His goodness in your life recently.”
We continue by Expressing Our Neediness, confessing our need for Him and His forgiveness.
Just as You spoke peace over the wind and the storms, so speak Your peace over my restless mind. I want to live in such a state of inner tranquility and rest that I can reflect that peace outward toward others around me. Help me to be a peacemaker in my life, seeking to live at peace with everyone. Fill me with Your peace as I trust in You, and help me sow seeds of peace wherever I go.
- “In the next few moments, confess to God how you have failed to [love Him and love others], and express your desire to abide in Him, so that His Spirit may bear much fruit in your life.”
Now we move into a time of Seeking His Stillness, becoming aware of God’s loving presence surrounding us and filling us this very moment.
Picture God’s face turned toward you as a loving father looks upon his child, and let His presence fill you with His peace as you sit quietly with Him.
Finally, let’s Trust God’s Faithfulness. I invite you to declare your confidence in God’s faithfulness to produce fruit in your life, to preach to your own heart and soul that He is trustworthy and He will take care of what you entrust to Him.
You promise to keep in perfect peace all those who trust in You. And I do. I give You my hopes, my loved ones, my fears, my everything. You’ve always been faithful, so I place my whole life in Your hands. You are my eternal Rock, Lord, and I fix my hope on You.
- “In the next few moments, say it out loud: “God, I trust that You will be faithful.”
If you’d like some additional reading about peace, check out these passages:
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