Peace; Easier Said Than Done
When I hear the word “peace” the voice of Linus from A Charlie Brown Christmas starts in my head. I’m 55 and I still remember a cartoon kid reciting seven small verses from Luke 2 ending with “…and on earth peace, good will toward men.” I was nine years old when that TV special was released.
In those days, the 1960s, my elementary school placed a Christmas tree in its small lobby and asked students to bring canned goods wrapped in white tissue paper. We also memorized those same verses from Luke’s Gospel. When it came time to deliver the canned goods to the local orphanage, every student stood around the piles of small white packages speaking those precious words of the one who came to bring peace and good will.
Oh the fond memories of doing that every year. I look back now and realize my classmates and I were bringing peace and good will to children who were so desperately in need.
Peace brings peace.
However, children grow up to become adults, and peace becomes complicated and elusive. I believe we Christians struggle with peace as much as those who don’t have faith in God.
I just happen to be one of those Christian women who has difficulty experiencing the peace of God. That’s why I say, “it’s easier said than done.”
My love for Christ is deep, and knowing how much he loves me overwhelms me at the thought. I’m so very grateful for the new life salvation provides. Yet I still find it hard to allow the peace he brings into every area of my life.
When I make a mistake and blow it, I beat myself up.
When someone hurts me, I obsess over why they don’t care for me.
When I lose my temper, the outburst is played over and over in my head.
When a relationship is broken, I dwell on everything I could have done differently.
This isn’t peace; in fact it’s the opposite. A friend shared John 16:33 with me years ago because he watched me struggle in these areas of my life and wanted to help.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
God’s son came to earth so when mistakes, hurts, bad tempers, and broken relationships happen Jesus’ peace would bring his perspective, not ours.
At this time of year, I’m reminded of the prophet Isaiah’s words:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…when my prayers are pleas for peace in what I’m experiencing, this is the one in whom I must trust.
In Christ, peace is no longer complicated and elusive.
As a child of God, I’m obligated to let his peace rule my life.
Until Jesus comes again to establish true, lasting peace there will always be things that bring trouble. But God has given us a promise. Our response, my response, must be to allow his peace to rule in our hearts so that we’re able to share his peace with others.
Read Luke 2. Remember the angels’ words. Let the peace of Christ be yours.
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“As a child of God, I’m obligated to let his peace rule my life.
Until Jesus comes again to establish true, lasting peace there will always be things that bring trouble. But God has given us a promise. Our response, my response, must be to allow his peace to rule in our hearts so that we’re able to share his peace with others.”
This is the key, right here. I remember when I was venting/struggling/feeling helpless and hopeless about our adoption, and a sweet friend of mine gently told me, “The thing is, you’re either going to trust God or not, right?”
At first, I was stopped a bit short by her truth-in-love words. But then I chose to let the truth of them sink back into my heart, where they belonged. When our adoption eventually failed completely, I grieve/d, sure, but my wise friend’s reminder helped me to choose trust, & regardless of the good days & bad days, the peace of Christ, which transcends all I can fathom DOES rule my heart.
Yep. We’re supposed to be different. Because Jesus changed us.
Sorry to hijack your post. 😉 Evidently I’m super thinky at 5:45 am. Xo
You make me laugh! Glad I’m not the only one who’s thinking at 5:45 in the morning. Trusting God’s promises and letting them rule our hearts…there’s power in those words…power to truly change us. My hope is the Jesus stuff shines brighter than the me stuff. Glad we’re in this together.
Me, too, friend. Me too. xo
This is so resonant with me. As a 55 year old and a person who signs her correspondence to remember peace in all things.
We 55 year olds need to keep reminding each other of this wonderful gift.
We sabotage our own peace, don’t we? Instead of just going to God and tapping into His peace. *sigh* When will we ever learn? lol
Our human hearts and human heads can certainly be roadblocks to learning!
At work we talk about A.U.R.- acknowledge, understand & respond.
Your post was a great reminder to acknowledge that sometimes peace will escape us (life is hard), to understand (and remember) that his peace is within us and that we have the ability to change our responses. Peace is a choice. Thanks for that Terri!
Tara – I like the acknowledge, understand and respond idea. It reminds me that following God’s commands and believing his promises takes action. It’s a relationship; it goes two ways. God gives us peace, but we must CHOOSE to take it. Thanks, Terri