“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul”
-It is Well with My Soul
For real, it is well no matter what is going on in my life?! When one kid is watching basketball on tv while another is playing music just 15 feet away, and I’m trying to work at the same time, I’d give anything for the quiet house kind of peace. I can’t imagine peace that softens the worst of life and leaves me feeling comforted. But, that’s the peace we’re supposed to look for and the kind of peace that’s worth the wait. The spirit-calming kind of peace grows in us over time through faith in your life. It can’t be rushed and it only appears from intentional peacemaking. Be a peacemaker; start with yourself.
You know those rare moments when you’re all alone and your mind feels free—distractions are gone, your phone is quiet, and no one is asking for anything? Is that peaceful? Temporarily, yes. At any moment though, this type of comfortable, quiet peace quickly could evaporate. (Just pick up your phone, someone will certainly need something.)
What we need most is the kind of peace this world can neither explain nor interrupt.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
To have peace, you choose peace. In a world of independent, selfish people, peace doesn’t exist on its own. Someone chooses peace. Someone surrenders.
Think about how wars end. Inevitably someone surrenders, the figurative (or sometimes literal) white flag is waved; someone chooses to stop fighting.
Are you willing to stop fighting yourself? Will you surrender and find peace from God?
Life will always have pain and difficulty, but sadness and anger don’t have to control you. Your emotions don’t get to control your hope or the peace you find from God. Be a peacemaker; start with yourself.
Home as a sanctuary
My friend Michelle describes her home as “a sanctuary” and “a place to flourish.” Imagine a place where you are safe, no matter what, and encouraged to be your best, even if you fail while trying.
“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:25
Although I thoroughly enjoy quiet moments at home, especially if I’m free to nestle under a blanket on the couch and lose myself in a tv marathon, the people in our homes bring life to our days. For us, creating a place for people to gather drives every choice we’re making. Even if they’re somewhat loud and messy, we want a house full of teens after football games, just as much as quieter evenings talking through the harder parts of life. The big and loud moments matter just as much as the quiet conversations.
And the peace our families need begins with a choice. We choose to embrace the hard parts of life and people. Our doors hang wide open (sometimes literally) for the people who need us most. We listen, laugh, cry, give advice, pray, and apologize (a lot because we’re still learning too). Most importantly, we keep showing up because we all need people to count on. Your home can be the place your family needs, even though you’re not perfect. Luckily, neither is anyone else.
Our families need a sanctuary, where life is lived and people are loved no matter what.
Be a peacemaker, claim your home as a sanctuary where people flourish.
Live in peace
The world around us needs peace, the kind that’s created one person at a time. No government or treaty will ever change people, God changes people and he’s asking us to work with him. Isn’t it interesting, God could solve every problem on his own, but he asks us to help? Having lived enough life to make a lot of mistakes, I firmly believe we learn the most by living and learning. Maybe that part of God’s master plan, allowing us to be both the helper and the one being helped.
“And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
Love your neighbor as yourself—the loveable neighbors, the not-so-loveable neighbors, the neighbors who don’t believe the same thing as you, all the neighbors.
Just last night, I was reading through Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy and came across something I had forgotten. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were refugees. Not too long after his birth, they fled to Egypt to protect Jesus from King Herod. Imagine walking along dusty roads, a baby in your arms and all your possessions packed on animals. What will you do if someone gets hurt or sick? Who will help? You don’t belong in the place you’re headed, but it’s not safe to turn around. I wonder how they were received in Egypt. Were they welcomed with open arms or only mildly tolerated on the city’s edge? How did people treat the unlikely Messiah?
This Christmas, be a peacemaker in a world of dissension and rhetoric. Choose to surrender your loud opinions and rightness and replace it with discussion and civil disagreement. Look beyond right or left, this or that to the person in front of you. Look for God, because each of us is created in his image.
Be a peacemaker
We aren’t peacekeepers on this earth; we’re peacemakers. Peace begins with you and slowly stretches outward. Start with yourself, create a sanctuary for your people, and then show the world what God means about loving your neighbor.
Be a peacemaker.
Fully Present in the life we have. Wholly expecting a wondrous future.
Enjoy the full Present series
When It’s Not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Be a Peacemaker; Start with Yourself
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