“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.”
If you want to see shalom in action, think of this most loved passage in the whole Bible.
“The Lord is my shepherd…”
Or, God is my shepherd, I have everything I need. He gives me rest, surrounded by his blessing.”
Who would not be filled with gladness knowing God takes care of everything?
This is why we find joy and shalom in the Bible together as much as joy and shalom are connected in the brain. They work together, but they are not the same.
When we translate the word for shalom into English, we use the word “peace.” It is a good word, but the trouble today is peace has lost this “everything is going to be fine” meaning and has come to mean, “absence of violence.” But, shalom is so much more than that. As we know all too well, you can be in a truce without sharing joy with others.
The word “Harmony” works better for us today. “Harmony” is what our brains prefer. A sense that everything is going to be alright. With harmony in our lives, this is shalom. Our relationships are right. Who we are makes sense. Our reactions to the world please us and please God. A modern technology term also gives us a deeper sense of what it means to experience shalom. Synchronization.
When we have harmony we are in synch with God. We are in synch with the world around us. When we have harmony we can experience the presence of God.
Without harmony, our world is chaotic and moving too fast. We find it hard to be in synch with God, and we so don’t experience God. Not that he is not there or he doesn’t want us to know he is there, it’s just that we can’t experience this when we are overwhelmed by our problems.