“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
~Jeremiah 29:13-14a (NIV).
This is a theological nugget, especially for the person curious about God. And God himself, from Jeremiah’s prophetic nib, emblazons the simplest principle known to life—the spiritual principle of peace. The very best life imaginable—a life of fearlessly empowered truth and love—is available for anyone who seeks God with all they have. But it’s peace (or a lack thereof) that has our attention.
The word “captivity” had a special relevance to the Israelites living in exile. Yet, from a contemporary viewpoint we too live in exile if we don’t know God and hence can’t experience his peace and grace.
And yet, peace is something we choose to either live with or without.
The Hebraic wellbeing word, shalom, is central to this life that God promises. Our English “peace” is quite poor and linear by comparison. It doesn’t pick up the multidimensional aspects that a concept of shalom is trying to effuse in us by God’s Spirit.
What returns to us, perhaps even for the very first time, is the Promised Land of the heart. Indeed, we might’ve experienced peace before and since those times we’ve hungered for its return. God’s peace, however, is so completely different to anything that a worldly peace can feel like. It’s a peace that defies understanding. That’s why we can claim it as God’s peace alone.
Peace is not normally something we have a mortgage on; as an experience I mean. But, this ‘peace of God’ is a peace that will protect us from all those “captivities” of the past, present and future. That is the lot of those who truly find God.
Anyone can have this peace-filled hope for the future—a hope that rescues us from incarceration to the past and for our present’s too—as we explore what it means to actually know and relate with this transcendent and all-powerful being we call God.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.