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home : religion : inspirational reflections February 18, 2020

1/19/2020 1:38:00 PM
18 Inches To Peace
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

On your journey through life, how far is peace? Some of us would say that peace seems very far away. Life just won’t behave. It’s always changing. We get things in order and no matter how hard we try it’s always something. Jesus told us that we would have trials and tribulations so it should come as no surprise that life is difficult and oftentimes peace seems very far away. Even so, the Bible tells us that we can rise above the storms of life and find peace in Philippians 4:6-7: “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This sounds good but what does it really mean?

Peace is not that far away. As a matter of fact, some of us are 18 inches away – the distance from our brain to our heart. Most people have a concept of God. We know that he sent his son Jesus to serve and lay his life down on the cross so that we would be forgiven of our sin and be with Him in the life to come. These are facts that we read in the Bible and have been taught as we grew up in the faith. Knowledge is good because it leads to action. Many of us have given our life to him at one point or another because we graduated from confirmation and joined the church or believed it was the right thing to do.

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Knowledge is good but knowing who Jesus is and representing that with our behavior can be a head thing – something we do as a result of what we have learned. Even so, knowledge about Him won’t hold us together in the middle of trouble, disappointment, failure, grief, or times of extreme stress. Knowledge about the Lord is 18 inches away from peace.

The scripture above says that the peace of God is in Jesus Himself. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” What does this mean? This points to a personal relationship from personal experience. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus is calling us into relationship with Him saying 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

Instead of thinking about Him, relax and try to feel Jesus’ presence. In the midst of the storm, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and ask the Lord to come near. When we have a spiritual encounter with Him, we can hear Him call us to travel 18 inches from our head to our heart. We will experience His love and compassion flood into in our heart. He is in us and we are in Him. We know we are not alone in our struggle. When we rest in Him, we can have peace because we know that no matter what happens next, the Lord will be with us to help carry the load. 

Rev. Susan Smith is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church of Lincolnton and can be reached at 828-962-8196 or


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