The gift of shalom

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I’ve been restless lately.

Staying up too late. Working on blog-writing, platform-building, branding, marketing, content-producing, time-stealing stuff.

It’s all good – I love every bit of it – but it can be all-consuming, too.

It’s not so good when you realize you’ve been trying to squeeze Jesus into the cracks – those tiny slivers of space where maybe a bit of light can shine in between the piles of busyness, if you pause just a moment to notice. When maybe He’s been whispering your name but you’ve had too much mental noise to hear His call.

He tends not to shout unless He has to.

And then you start hearing the same word or message from multiple sources. I don’t believe in coincidence, so I see this phenomenon as my Maker kicking the volume up a notch, to maybe the equivalent of a stage whisper. Beats a kick in the pants.

So in a quiet moment I finally notice.

I have daily readings on my Bible App and also receive occasional emails from Christian publishers with new resources, studies, devotionals, announcements … marketing. There are times when the emails seem like mere noise, too – just more information overload in an already crowded brain.

But then one newsletter presents itself with a headline like this:

God’s Gift of Peace for Your Mind and Heart

And the word PEACE seems to SHOUT! (Ironic, no?)

I opened this one to skim and ended up reading all of it.

It began:

“Peace, shalom (shah-loam). Shalom comes from the root verb shalam, meaning ‘to be complete, perfect, and full.’ Thus shalom is much more than the absence of war and conflict; it is the wholeness that the entire human race seeks.”

That just resonated with me.

After all, this is what To Well With You is really about: my desire to help all people see their worth as His created ones and to fully realize their God-given potential. As whole, complete beings.

So when I received an email from Jen Hatmaker (I always open hers right away), I clicked a link to a post (not hers, but one she liked) with this headline:

I used to think God wanted a lot from me

“I should really volunteer at church more, lead a Bible study, organize something for the homeless. I’m the worst at this Jesus stuff. I should really be doing more for God! It’s so demanding, it takes EVERYTHING!” said the author, Sara Bessey.

But “maybe God doesn’t so much want things from us,” she said. “Maybe God actually wants things for us.”

Her conclusion was that we should …

“Run towards grace, towards shalom.” (Shalom, again.)

I love the way one of the commenters referred to Sarah’s post:

“It’s like setting aside my fifth espresso for a nice clean glass of water.”

Cool, refreshing water.

John4QuoteUnfathomable peace that satisfies like a cool, refreshing drink. This is what I wish for you today.

Shalom, y’all.

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