Ever had one of those days you just wanted to drop everything, cash it all in, and sail away?
We all have, but one couple did something about it. Nikki Walsh and Tanner Broadwell were tired of the hassle of working (at the ripe old ages of 24 and 26), so they sold everything they had, bought a 49-year-old boat, dropped $5000 into fixing up the boat, and set sail …
… without any sailing experience and
… without insurance.
On February 7, less than two days into their get-away-from-it-all adventure, the boat capsized. They traveled a whole 30 miles. All they could save were themselves, their dog, a few papers, some food, and the all-important toys for the dog.
“Everything I’ve worked for, everything I’ve owned since I was a child, I brought with me. It’s just floating away and there’s nothing I can do.” —Nikki Walsh
It’s not over. They have to cough up $6700 to have the sunken boat removed from the Gulf of Mexico.
Pardon my callous attitude, but as romantic as this adventure sounded, it was never a wise plan. Have they learned anything? I don’t think so. Their solution was not to get work and rebuild their lives but to start a GoFundMe account and ask other people for money. (To date, they’ve raised over $16,000!) [Source] [Source] [Source]
Peace doesn’t come by getting away from it all or trying to remove all the stress points in life. Even if you remove today’s stress points, new ones will pop up tomorrow. Just ask the proud owners of a sunken sailboat.
The Hebrew language gives us a much deeper—and richer—idea of peace. Peace, or shalom as they would say, refers to completeness, wholeness, well-being, and even health. When you experience shalom, you are at ease and comfortable with … well, everything—even the hassles and conflict that can erupt around us.
Peace, then, doesn’t come from our outward circumstances; it comes from within us—but it’s not something we can manufacture or place in ourselves. There’s only one source for this peace, this wholeness.
Gideon was an Israelite who lived during a period that was far from rosy for the Israelites. The Midianites had rolled into town and oppressed the Israelites for seven years. Not exactly a peaceful time. But the angel of the Lord (a reference to God Himself) appeared to Gideon and made two powerful statements:
- “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judg. 6:12).
- “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (v. 14).
At the conclusion of this divine encounter, “Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace” (v. 24). That is significant to me. Gideon’s circumstances had not changed. He was still living in an oppressed environment. So what changed?
Gideon had peace because of the presence of God. He trusted the Lord. The One who was greater than his circumstances was with him.
Our level of peace is not determined by our circumstances. Our peace is determined by the presence of God in our lives and our trust in Him. Our prayers are a reflection of our trust and dependence on Him. And when we trust Him, peace envelopes us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Isn’t that better than a sailboat?
Related post: What Should Peace Look Like?
For a printable version: click here.
This post supports the study “Our Peace” in Bible Studies for Life.
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