Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety or depression, you know what it feels like to try to access hope out of a well that seems empty. Even though I know who Jesus is and what He did, I’ve felt that emptiness a few times over the years. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals with those I love the most and found myself, once again, trying to access hope from a dry well. Even when hope was handed to me in Word or deed, I couldn’t seem to hold it. Everything just felt too heavy to let go. My amazing community of family and friends offered over and over to help carry the load, but the well just stayed dry. Then a good friend said to me, “I’ll hold hope for us both until you can hold it again.” The thought that he can actually hold that hope, intercede with that hope, have faith with that hope, and then pass it to me when I’m in a place to hold it again is an inexplicable relief.
As I reflected on what it means to lean into peace as a community, not as an individual, I thought about how my friend is holding hope for me, and by doing that, he’s actually helping to cultivate new hope in me. Can’t peace work the same? First Peter 3:8 calls us to love and humility when describing like-mindedness. It doesn’t call us to agreement. And 2 Corinthians 13:11 reminds us to encourage one another as we work for the restoration and peace that can bring us to unity. When disagreement hurts and binds us in a discontent that we just can’t seem to overcome—when injustice has us angry, when unfair outcomes have us bewildered—we have the opportunity to encourage one another and hold peace for each other until we can all hold it together.
For myself and for you, I pray that the discontent that comes with the imbalances and injustices of this world spurs us to be open to leaning into those who would carry and cultivate peace for us until we can hold it ourselves and pass it on to others. May we be unified, not by what we agree on, but by our heart to hold peace for others, our openness to allow others to hold it for us, and our willingness to pass it on.
- If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression or feel alone, there’s help. Click here for resources.
- Practicing gratitude and worship edges out fear, stress, conflict and more. The worship songs “I Speak Jesus” and “Gratitude” have reminded me over and over of Who Jesus is and how my posture matters when I’m struggling to access hope or share peace.