by Christine Sine
Last week was a very unrestful week for many of us. The bombing in Manchester, the massacre of Coptic Christians in Egypt, more deaths in Kabul, the Philippines and now on London Bridge, growing turmoil around the world and the U.S. pulling out of the Paris climate agreement weigh heavily on us. The world seems to be unravelling and we are afraid that God has lost control.
In the midst of such challenges how do we find not just the energy to respond but also the peace that our hearts need to journey onwards? One thing I realize is that rest doesn’t just happen. It must be created. Restful moments throughout the day that restore our equilibrium and flood our heart with the peace that is beyond understanding are a deliberate choice.
About six months ago I purchased a fitbit. Part of what I love about it is its reminder to get up and walk every hour. Initially I just wandered mindlessly around the house, intent on getting my 250 steps but little else. Then I realized that these 2-3 minute stretch breaks could also become deliberate restful moments when I paused to breathe in and inhale the peace of God.
It has revolutionized my day. Sometimes, like this morning, I wander out into the garden and inhale the fragrance of the roses. In unstable times like this, my peace rose in particular reminds me that the fragrance of God’s peace is always with us. Even the rose’s history, inspires me. Developed in France during World War II, it was smuggled out by the French resistance. The naming of the rose as ‘PEACE’ was publicly announced in America by Robert Pyle on April 29, 1945 , the day Berlin fell, officially considered the end of World WarII in Europe. The next showing of the Peace rose came on V-E Day, May 8, 1945. At the very first United Nations Conference in San Francisco, a Peace rose with the message: “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”, was presented to all 49 U.N. delegates.
These “coincidences” make me feel that God is always at work behind the war and turmoil creating peace. Sometimes it is hidden and needs to be smuggled out as it were to make sure that it is planted in an environment where it can grow and flourish until the time comes when it can be named, applauded and shared so that it can indeed go out throughout the world and bring hope.
So go and plant a Peace rose, or better still plant some peace in God’s garden. God desires peace in our world and I think that the history of this rose shows that.
What Is Your Response?
I enjoyed watching this video today. It made me smile and helped me relax. It is a glimpse of hope for peace and allowed God’s peace to well up within me.
Sit quietly after you have watched it and take some deep breaths in and out. Sit in the peace of God’s presence and think back over the last couple of days. Where have you seen glimpses of God’s peace? What do you need to do to nurture and grow these? Where do you have the opportunity to share these glimpses and allow their fragrance to spread throughout the earth?