Shalom is most often translated “peace.” I am not a Hebrew scholar, but I have learned that every Hebrew word has several different, meanings. The most common of shalom’s meanings are peace, wholeness or completeness, soundness or good health, perfect, (as well as hello and goodbye!)
For longer than I care to remember I have been restless. Often working to please others, I knew something was missing from my life. I was not exactly a poster child for Shalom. Searching for peace in many different ways I was dissatisfied. I was not whole or complete, my health did not hold up, in short I was far from perfect. I need the complete fullness of Shalom.
Along my journey I met Jesus. He certainly brought a greater measure of wholeness to my life. I am grateful for that! Yet, our lives are a journey and we all have many unanticipated turns along the way. Some turns have added to the lack of Shalom, while others have brought measures of healing toward wholeness. All have brought me closer to God.
With the presences of God in my life I am learning to let go of the many layers of “restlessness.” I echo Paul when he says in Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Now I am learning to operate from Christ’s fullness and from His infinite love and acceptance of me…just the way I am.
I do not need to perform. I do, however, desire to please my redeemer because He gave everything to make me His.
Paul goes on in v13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,”
Forgetting what lies behind is an entirely different topic, but for today lets call it peeling away the layers and letting go of them. “Straining forward to what lies ahead” is our current job description.
Finally, v14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It is worth it! Yes, it is sometimes painful, but it is always worth it to leave behind and press on. The prizes along the way are unique to each person. The goal is to be like Jesus…the perfect example of wholeness and peace. The journey is a constant adventure with the ever-increasing understanding of the presence of our Maker in and with us every moment.
How do you most need shalom today, this week…? What is Abba asking you to let go of?
Abba, You know exactly what each person needs today. You know what we need to let go of to make our path to true Shalom more straight and level. Shine you light and your truth and lead us on a level path to health, wholeness and Christ likeness, for your glory! Amen