It sounds awesome and effortless, doesn’t it?
Peace makes me think of calm, of a candle flickering, or a soft, comfortable smile, or of simplicity and joy.
Peace, to me sounds like it should be easy.
But I am learning that is not the case at all.
In Ephesians 2:17, Paul writes:
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
Ahhhh. Peace. Jesus came as a man of peace, one who would extol the virtues of peace, showing us how to solve disagreements and live together.
It is and was not something that came naturally. So much of the Old Testament talks of battle and winning things by force and prayer, but not a lot of negotiation and peace.
Jesus came to preach peace for all, near and far. That was revolutionary. And it needed teaching.
This morning, I stepped out of my bedroom and said just a few things to my teen-aged son. I was trying to suggest what I thoughts was a good idea, but things didn’t go as well as I had planned. (There wan’t any yelling or gnashing of teeth, but it still didn’t go as well as I had hoped.) After our conversation, I turned around and walked back to my room, thinking about how hard little things can sometimes be and how hard it is to stay cool sometimes and maintain peace. Parenting is tough stuff at times!
Peace takes work. Peace takes training. Peace takes listening and thinking and staying calm. Peace also takes looking beyond being right toward doing what is right, and learning in the process. I am not the best at nurturing peace. I need to work on it. I’ll be calling on Jesus to show me how to keep my cool so I can grow an environment of peace around me.
Lord, please show me peace.
Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to show us how to resolve conflict in peace. He didn’t yell at people. He didn’t need to vent. He was faced with some majorly serious stuff (to include crucifixion, which he knew was coming) and he yet he kept his cool always. No yelling. No force. And yet he presented new ways of thinking of things in a way that others couldn’t argue. He was logical and loving. Even His debating style was confrontational in the most peaceful way.
Lord, help me in my pursuit of peace. Help me to cool down when I need to and find peace, communicate peace and share peace. I need you for this. I want peace, not conflict, in the big things and the little things.
Please show me. Guide me to the wisdom I need to see how to live this way and please give me the strength I need to carry it out. Thank you, Lord.