The Messenger Zine - PEACE | Issue 17
Walking on Water
Once, in the middle of exam season, a close friend of mine asked me to describe how I felt. Strangely enough, the first thing that came to my mind was to say that I feel like I am walking on water. It hardly seemed to make sense at first, but when I read Matthew 14 again, it came together.
“So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”
Matthew 14:29-31 NKJV
In the passage, it is only when Peter sees that the wind is boisterous that he grows afraid and begins to sink. He realises that he is doing what is impossible, that there should be no reason why he is able to walk on water. For me, I felt like Peter because I had no idea what I was doing, or whether I could do it. The world around me was in a chaotic mess of practice papers, last minute consultations with teachers, and flurried revision schedules, and yet…
I had a strange, strange sense of peace.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NKJV
It is this peace that surpasses all understanding that God promises us. It is a peace that endures even when the world is in uproar. It is a peace that washes over you even when it does not make sense.
Peter had walked with his own two feet all his life and yet, when he stepped on water he suddenly did not know what he was doing with his feet. He should not even be able to stand on water! Just like Peter had a moment of doubt when he had no firm ground, I had that sudden moment where was suddenly incapacitated. Even as a humanities student who should have been constantly writing essays, I suddenly felt incapable of writing an introduction for my examinations, let alone an entire essay.
But eventually it hit me, just as Peter probably realised when Jesus stretched out His hand to catch Peter, that my incapacity to do it is the whole point. There is no way I could be doing this, and yet I was doing it. I was walking through the storm, walking on water, because it was not me.
It was God who gave me peace to walk in faith. It is God who walks with me still.
If you feel yourself growing afraid and beginning to sink, remember that He gives you peace sufficient to walk through the storm. Today, tomorrow, and for all of your days.
The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Exodus 14:14 NKJV
Lord, I pray that You will grant me a peace which surpasses all understanding. I pray that you speak peace into my heart, and that this peace shall not waver no matter what comes my way. All anger, anxiety, depression, falls away at the sound of your name. You guard my heart against evil. Even though others around me may become enraged or anxious, You have set a hedge around me and protect me with Your everlasting peace.
The Glorious Letterings
The Glorious Letterings was founded by Christina in 2014. It started as a hobby on a random Instagram account that she created, to use her creative skills to spread positive words of encouragement.
Hello! Could you tell us what The Glorious Letterings is all about?
The Glorious Letterings is a brand that sells hand-lettered designs and merchandise. I founded The Glorious Letterings in 2014 with the hope of using my creative skills to spread words of faith, encouragement, love, peace and hope through lettering and design.
What is the ethos behind The Glorious Letterings? Can you share more about it?
The Glorious Letterings started as a hobby on a random Instagram account that I created.. but slowly evolved into its present identity of using calligraphy and lettering design skills to express meaningful messages and reminders to those around me.
In our modern culture and fast-paced society, people are often bombarded by pressure and negativity. The rise of negativity and depression has been evident especially in recent years. As an individual who fell in love with hand lettering, I began to see the importance of positive words in our lives.
The power of words can make or break us. Words form our daily thoughts and build our inner identity as individuals. From there, the overaching statement for The Glorious Letterings became: Words have power.
This is the very spine of the brand, as I hope to use words in hand lettering form to make a difference in people’s lives.
On the message of peace, what does peace mean to you?
I’m a Christian believer, so to me, peace isn’t the absence of trouble or avoidance of uncomfortable situations.
Many people think they can only have peace if all their problems are solved. But I have known many, who even after they had gotten everything they thought they needed, were still not at peace. I have experienced this too.
Only God’s presence can bring the assurance of true peace. Peace is where God is - it is the Presence of God. When you stand in His presence, you are standing on the very source and core of incredible strength, unending love, and overwhelming wholeness.
No wonder Jesus came and His Name is called Emmanuel: ‘God With Us’. Peace has indeed come.
We love how your work inspires and blesses others! What are your thoughts on finding peace, even in work?
Thank you! I hope I can continue to do my best and make a difference in people’s lives through my brand and art too.
I used to think that it would be peaceful if I didn’t have to deal with so many things or problems in life. But let’s be honest, no matter who you are, rich or poor, smart or struggling... we all have problems!
Finding peace is really about knowing who God is. Because it is from Him that we know who we really are. God is Truth, and we can take it from Him and align everything in our lives according to Him.
I have actually struggled with panic and anxiety attacks before. And indeed it can become so shameful and crippling. Often we feel that nobody can understand what we are going through, yet I have learnt one really important thing. And that is: that you don’t have to have it all together. Because nobody ever does.
To think that we’ve got to look perfect and good, to have it all together - it’s such a lot of pressure and weight to put on ourselves! No wonder we get crushed, burnt out and feel like we can’t even let others see this part of us.
My take on finding peace, whether at school or work, is really to know that you don’t have to have it all together. Know that you’re loved and know who God says you are. I don’t have to be perfect, but I can be whole. Because I am a child of God.
So to whoever may be reading this, if you’re like me and struggle with fear or anxiety. Know that God loves you and He is your loving Father who will take care of you. Don’t put it all on yourself, but run to Him and know He loves you very much. He will be here for you.
The brand story of The Commandment Co is to ‘Send A Message. Inspire Someone.’ What is one message you would like to leave our readers with on the message of peace?
God is Peace. So if you don’t have peace in your life, fear not: peace is nearer than you think. The Lord is with you.
You can only have peace when you know how much you’re truly loved and held in the biggest hands you can ever find in the universe. You can only be truly secure when you know that what you have (Jesus) is exceedingly greater than what you do not have.
There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest ... in perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The King chose the second picture.
Do you know why?
“Because,” explained the King, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”