by ALisa Casas
I’m a word nerd. I love learning new words and their etymology, and then using them in my everyday conversations. When I was in elementary school my friends nicknamed me “Dictionary” because I always had a new and interesting word to use.
To me, there is beauty in finding exactly the right word to use in a situation. For instance, happiness and joy are words with similar meanings but are used in distinctively different ways. I think about the time I dropped my eldest daughter off for her first semester at college. That was one of the hardest days of my life because I knew it meant my little girl was on her own path to adulthood. Leaving her at the school did not make me happy, but it did fill me with great joy to see her realizing her own dreams.
Do you see the simple but profound difference between happiness and joy?
Oftentimes, God speaks to us in similar ways with the words He chooses. Peace is a favorite word in the Bible. Did you know that it appears in various forms approximately 495 times in the King James version? Four hundred and ninety-five times! That’s a whole lot of peace that God wants us to pay attention to when we are reading.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Colossians 3:15
What Does Peace Mean?
Peace means different things in different scriptures. It is a description of God: Yahweh Shalom in the book of Isaiah. It is a beautiful gift from God as described in Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face to you and give you peace.”
In other places, peace is a tool that God tells us to pick up and put to use. In the book of Ephesians, it is described as the gospel we are to put on our feet so we are ready to share it with others.
Ephesians 6:15″ …and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
It makes so much sense to me that God would depict peace as footwear, because it is such a practical and engaging illustration. We all understand why we wear shoes! Their main purpose is protection and strength. We put them on to protect our feet, and we put on peace to protect our daily walk. Putting on God’s peace gives us strength and protection, which we are then to use to strengthen and protect those we meet. Each of us can picture a moment when someone walked into our life and shared a peace that helped settle an inner turmoil.
Peace as Footprints
Even as shoes carry you into and away from places, they leave traces in the form of footprints. My neighbor’s sweet little girl loves running up and down her couch, and when she gets to the end she points and exclaims “footprints” at the little marks she leaves on the cushions. She is only two years old but she recognizes the imprints she makes on the couch.
Do we recognize the imprint that we leave on others? Are we leaving imprints of peace?
Earlier I mentioned that I am a word nerd, so you have to know that I looked up the Greek definition of peace. Eirene describes a setting in which all parts are joined or tied together in wholeness. In other words, peace is being tied together in God’s gift of wholeness. Picture your morning routine of putting on shoes, tying on God’s peace and bringing it with you, and then leaving it behind for someone else, and you’ll never look at your sneakers the same way.
When we put on God’s wholeness and walk out His plan for our day, we will surely leave behind footprints that last for more than a few minutes. Rise, shine, and put on those shoes!
Can you remember a time when someone walked into your life and left peace? How did that impact you?
ALisa Casas is a passionate Jesus follower, wife to a retired Marine, mother to three daughters and grandmother to one adorable Piper-girl. ALisa is also pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Communications and works as a Studio Operations Manager for a Cable Television Station in Southern Maryland. Her position at the cable station allows her to help spread the good news of people doing amazing things in the name of Jesus. ALisa loves speaking, writing, and sharing the amazing things that God does everyday. He is in every detail. While she doesn’t have a website at the moment, she is grateful beyond words to be a part of this ministry and can be reached via email at email@example.com on Twitter @SquarePegLife and on Facebook ALisa Casas
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