International Day of Peace was created in 1981 as a result of a unanimous vote by the United Nations in an effort to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to the building of a Culture of Peace.” (www.internationaldayofpeace.org)
What does this mean to me? How can I grasp the concept of peace in a world where it seems so far from reality? In turn, how can I reproduce it and pass it along to others?
As I was thinking about these questions, the phrase ‘breaking into peace’ resonated in my spirit. That sounds a bit counterproductive. Doesn’t peace mean tranquility and freedom from disturbance?
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The word peace comes from the Greek word eirene, which means to be exempt from the rage and havoc of war. Eirene comes from the verb eiro, which means to join or set as one again.
Peace is the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, fearing nothing from God, and content with its earthly lot. Breaking into peace consists of defying the mindset that the world has to offer. Peace through God consists of wholeness, safety and true security.
For most of my life, I have been broken and looking at a distorted picture of who I thought I was and how I thought God saw me. I felt like I was pieces of a shattered mirror hastily put together with no reference as to what my true image really looked like. I had a vague idea of what the world said I should look like and another image of what religion said I should look like. To be honest, I didn’t look like either.
When God pointed me to Holy Yoga, I was trying desperately to reflect a religious image of wholeness that I was certain if anyone looked close enough, they would reject me.
In my mind, my brokenness was so ugly and so far from my perceived image of holiness that there was no way I could ever measure up. I was afraid of my reflection.
I remember when I first went to Immersion, I was certain I was the only one with that amount of brokenness. I had an element of peace, but I was waging war within my own mind.
At Immersion, we were given the opportunity to tell our story and to make peace with who we thought we were. Through tears, breaking through from deep within, I shared. I shared all my broken pieces. The places that brought shame, condemnation and fear laid bare. It hurt. It cut deep into old wounds and scars, but there was freedom on the other side of my words that finally began to be set free from years of doubt and bondage.
My pieces lay scattered across the battlefield of my mind. The identity that I thought the world and religion offered me were in disarray. This newfound peace, true peace from the Prince of Peace, offered a wholeness from my brokenness.
As I was thinking about the idea of breaking into peace, images from a familiar music video to the song Take on Me by AHA came to mind. Just as the couple in the video were eventually freed from oppression in an imaginary world, so too Jesus paid the sacrifice and broke through, uniting and reconciling us back to the Father.
Revelation 12:10-11 says, “Then I heard a loud voice in Heaven saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”
My breaking into peace came when I began to understand who the Prince of Peace really is and through the realization that peace is the tranquil state of my soul assured of my salvation through Jesus Christ. I fear nothing from God and am learning to be content in Him. I am in the process of understanding my true identity and how God sees me. I am reconciling who I am in an image reflective of Him. I am trusting and understanding of what true peace means based on God’s perspective, not my own. His peace is true peace.
Beth Salstrom who wears a lot of hats, but her favorite is the one she wears for her heavenly Father. She has amazing kids, a wonderful husband and dogs. Beth has been teaching Holy Yoga since 2012 and finds freedom and release on her mat. She also serves as a regional sheppard for the Holy Yoga Foundation.