‘The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace. So says the Lord who loves you.’
The Search for Inner Peace- An Introduction
This book is not about achieving a detached state of unbrokenness in the midst of a harsh world. I don’t have that kind of inner peace. Some do, I suppose …… maybe the secluded mystics or those who chemically alter their consciousness. I’ve had a few experiences with the former approach. I’ve taken contemplative retreats, fasted, emptied my mind, and narrowed my focus to the spiritual center of life. I recommend it.
But this kind of inner peace is not our subject here. This is a testimony of my search for (not discovery of) the inner peace Jesus promised His disciples during His final hours with them. You can read about it in Luke 19 and John 14. He wept over Jerusalem as He looked down on the city from the Mount of Olives: ‘If you only knew today what is needed for peace!’ (Luke 19:42) During His last meal, He told His disciples that they would not be left alone, that He would come back to them. ‘Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does.’ (John 14:27)
What is His peace? It certainly couldn’t be serene tranquility or inner harmony, because Jesus didn’t display these traits during His final hours. Look at Him in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26). He is depressed, stressed, and frustrated. He bargains with God to avoid the cross. He scolds His disciples for being clueless. He is no detached, serene superman. He is a sweaty-palmed, inwardly-torn, red-blooded mortal.
The peace He portrays here and the peace He promised to give to us is what I call ‘Nevertheless Peace.’ It is the kind which runs the entire gamut of human emotions— fear, bargaining, questioning, fretting— but in the end, says to God, ‘Nevertheless, I surrender to Your will.’
Inner peace is self-abandonment to the will of God. C.S. Lewis said that all religious conversions were, in the end, surrenders or capitulations.
So inner peace is not a state of detached serenity which we achieve and maintain. It is a process. That’s why the title of this book is about the search for, not the discovery of, inner peace. Abandoning oneself to the will of God is never finished; therefore, inner peace is never fully kept.
When it comes to inner peace, I’m still under construction. What follows here are the journal entries of a pilgrim on his way. Come join me.
Signed: Gerald Mann
- This series of Posts is based upon Dr. Gerald Mann’s book The Search for Inner Peace. The author and the MakeTrix have received the permission of Gerald Mann’s wife, Sandy Mann, to use the contents of his wonderful masterpiece in this series of articles. We are honored and humbled and wish to thank her for her generosity. This series is of course, and as always, provided free at no cost to the reader.
- Dr. Gerald Mann, The Search for Inner Peace (Austin, TX: Gerald Mann Ministries, 1999), pp. 5-9. ISBN: 0-9678502-0-7, Out-of-Print.