As I have been thinking about peace during this Advent season, the word strive from 2 Peter 3 has been bothering me. “Strive to be at peace.” That is how my current version words it. So . . . out came my Greek stuff; and in my brief bit of research, I discovered that the word is a verb form of spoudh--speed. Thus, in this verse, it basically means to speedily move forward to be at peace. In my mind, this is a whole lot better than striving for it.
Striving connotes sweat and suffering and unsuccessful attempts to achieve something, in this case to be at peace. But hurrying to be at peace, I think I want to try it. It seems to give me permission to fail in my attempts. I don’t have to work up a sweaty fear that somehow I am not working hard enough. All I need to do is realize the urgency of the need for peace.
This is exactly what I want to do when I remember verse 8 from Psalm 85.
“God the LORD will speak peace to his people.”
I want to run to that promise. I want those words of peace buried into my being, hidden in the deepness of my soul, in that dark and mysterious place where God and I live together. I don’t want to put off hearing those words. I don’t want to delay and miss what might be spoken. I want to race toward that peace and embrace it.