The greatest novel ever written was penned by a Russian who was banned from church and who is said to have had one of the unhappiest marriages in literary history. You have probably heard of Leo Tolstoy, in connection with the epic novel “War and Peace.”
It’s probably the best-known novel in the world that’s never been read – by most people, because it’s 1,125 pages long! Because in this day and age of social media, short grabs, and short attention spans, the idea of reading a book of over 1000 pages just overwhelms us.
Leo Tolstoy is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Now his actual name in Russian was Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. That’s because during the reign of the Tsars, he was born into an aristocratic family in 1828 near Tula in Russia.
Tolstoy enjoyed a privileged life until he joined the Russian army to fight in the Crimean War. Army life was hard and nomadic and it’s where he saw the shocking brutality of war.
It was during the quieter times of the battles that he started writing and reflecting on the meaning of life and the appalling loss of life in warfare. Tolstoy came to reject war and violence and rather advocated peaceful ways.
We all love peace. We all love it when there’s no conflict and strife. Did you know that in the Bible, peace means the presence of satisfying and perfect relationships that bring about contentment, joy, and well-being.
In the Bible, “peace” isn’t a passive word. It’s an active word. It doesn’t only mean the absence of something, but the existence of something – to make peace.
That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
This kind of peace is a gift from God. This kind of peace gives us lasting happiness as we follow God’s plan for our lives. I love this promise in the Bible, where Jesus says,
‘I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 TLB.
We need to create peace, before we can enjoy it. Those who make peace are even happier than those who enjoy it. The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”. It also means harmony, wholeness, completeness and prosperity. It’s a greeting and a wish for peace.
Would you like to enjoy this kind of peace? The kind that only God can give us. Let’s read another promise, ‘He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.’ Isaiah 26:3-4.