For the past year or so I have signed of f on emails and letters with the words, ‘Deep Peace’. The phrase comes from The Four Gifts of the King. Here are two excerpts.
Zedekai rode close to Steward. “Tell me, Warrior Steward, what do you feel?”
“What do I feel? I feel as though I am about to die.”
“Look again. Look around you, Steward. Look at the enemy in all its power and might. Look at the vastness of its resources and the ferocity of its intent. Look closely at it then search your heart and tell me again…what you feel.”
Steward did as the knight ordered. All he could see was hooded figures ready to raise their swords and overwhelm their little band of warriors. He saw the anger and evilness of the Phaedra. He could sense their hatred and their thirst for vengeance. But when he looked into his own heart…
His eyes grew wide, and he turned to Zedekai. “The Deep Peace, that’s what I feel.”
With their true nature now exposed, the Phaedra began a slow march toward Steward and the warriors. The enemies’ pace increased into a trot. Then the lead Phaedra shouted, and the charge began. Ten thousand horrific riders charged down the hills at Steward, Astrid, Zedekai, Dunston, and the ten warriors of the king.
The small band stayed fixed in their positions, swords in the air, ready for the onslaught. As Zedekai’s horse reared up, he looked at Steward. “How about now?”
“What do you mean?”
“How about now? What do you feel now, Warrior Steward?”
Steward grinned. At that very moment, as death was charging upon them, all Steward felt was the Deep Peace of the king. “Yes! I feel the Deep Peace—even now!”
Zedekai smiled widely. “Then behold, Warrior Steward, your salvation is at hand!”
Steward, the main character, had been pronouncing the Deep Peace of the King through all the lands where he had been sent by the king. But this was the moment they became more than words. Facing sure death, somehow that deep peace flooded his spirit. It was the King’s gift to him, and to all His people.
We all face our moments of truth, when some belief we have held gets put to the test. We can read God’s promises day and night, but when our lives depend on them, we find out if we really believe them to be true.
I faced just such a moment earlier today. I’ll preface these remarks by saying that I find myself in one of the most fluid, uncertain and precarious seasons of my life. I feel the temptation to anxiety and insecurity every moment. At the same time, I am seeking to know this deep peace in the very midst of the uncertainties.
This morning, for three hours, I felt as though a tornado was blowing apart what was left of my plans and exploding the few certainties to which I was clinging. Unexpected changes and unwanted challenges had my head spinning. When I forced everything away to make space to catch my breath, I did a quick check in my spirit. I anticipated the anxiety and prepared for the anguish. It was as if God as asking me Zedekai’s question, “What do you feel now?”
And there it was. Astonishing. Amazing. And real, very real.
It was the deep peace. There’s no other way to explain it. It was so palpable that only God could have granted it. It was opposed to the reality of what was swirling around me and in stark contrast to what my mind was telling me I should feel.
But there it was. It was deep, it was in no danger of worse news rooting it out. It was beyond the reach of circumstance. And it was peace, calm, even, dare I say, contentment. Right there in the midst of the howling winds.
I am sharing this because this deep peace is what I have so long desired for me and you. I have written about it, preached on it, coached leaders toward it and prayed for it. I believe God desires it as the unshakable foundation for the abundant life He created us to live. It has been my pursuit and it has always been there…in theory.
But somehow today, in a way more sure and certain than I may ever have experienced, that deep peace ruled my heart. If you are experiencing the same in your life, I want to encourage you to continue to surrender everything back to Him that His peace may never leave you.
If you long for this kind of peace but do not have it, this is my encouragement to you. You can’t earn it or conjure it up or control it. The deep peace is God’s gift if we will but surrender ourselves to Him. In whatever season of life you find yourself, this is God’s desire for you. Your whole life belongs to Him. Let Him have control. Seek to be a faithful steward and trust Him with the rest. He will supply your needs. He will heal your wounds. He will make all things work together for your good. He is at work, trust Him. He is sovereign, lean into Him. He is faithful, lose yourself in Him.
Jesus left His peace with us, a peace “not as the world gives.” His peace overcomes all fears, all doubts, all discouragement and all failures. His peace is sure, it is victorious, and it is deep.
May you continue in your journey to the king, and at every step, know His Deep Peace.