You know how it is when you have a well-thought out post all written and ready to hit publish, only to have WordPress swallow it? Or maybe that’s just me. 😁 Anyway, I tried to recall all those fast–flying words, but something always shifts. Sigh. But, importantly, the message is still the same….
Turn from evil and do good.
Seek peace and pursue it.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Peace. Such a nice sounding word. It brings such a hush to my heart in the midst of a day going like gangbusters.
It has had many a connotation over time.
Some well-meaning but misguided. Some more of a plea.
A few, at least, with some Biblical grounding.
The extended olive branch is, traditionally, the symbol of peace.
A very interesting choice, if you know your Biblical history, specifically the story of the flood. 😉
The mantra of many a tired, gritted teeth mama:
“Can I please get a little peace and quiet?!”
Relatable. Not exactly a grace-filled moment. But, relatable. 😏
In the 60’s, the catchphrase became: “All I’m really saying is give peace a chance.”
And, in that vein, to culminate the decade, came the words emblazoned on a poster alongside a dove, a neck of a guitar, and a strumming hand:
“Three Days of Peace, Love, and Music”
Not a terrible hope on the surface, but, unfortunately, also a misplaced one muddied deep in sin and debauchery.
But, to switch gears, here are two favorite and more uplifting samples:
“When peace like a river attendth my way…”
“I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul…”
Lovely declarations indeed!
Any way you slice it, all these various thoughts are full of sentiment for the word “peace”, if not always an understanding of the full import.
We grab at the idea at moments, as in those last two songs referenced.
Oh, we like to think that shows we get it but how often do we really? 🤔
When we are divisive with our neighbors, is that peace?
When we yell at traffic, is it evidence of that river flowing inside?
When we grumble at our spouse, our kids, the news, the slow line at the store, is that us getting it?
Oh, we may pridefully claim to be above the real wickedness in this world today, but, honestly, one cursory glance around and it’s obvious none of us really grasp the concept.
And that is chiefly because we fail to remember that first and infinitely vital key from the first verse there:
“Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.”
We neglect to make that turn before seeking peace.
Oh, we like to believe the myth mankind has some inherent goodness.
But, the facts are this:
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Nope. Not even a solitary do-gooder.
A little disheartening on the face of it, eh?
But-He does not leave us there!
For, He who is peace embodied came down to shed His blood for us.
He became the olive branch extended to a harassed and harried group of no goodnicks like us.
We need only seek and recognize this truth, snatch it up tight, and run determinedly with it.
Pursue it, if you will…
Allow it to fill us up from within, bubble over, and, thereby, spill out beautifully to those around us.
Like a splashing, happy river. 😊
Only then can we even possess a paltry fraction of understanding His peace!
The rest must come on the other side. Hopefully, Lord willing, soon!
Dear God, may we turn from evil, seek peace, and pursue it with everything in us.
Blessings and prayers, friends! Thanks for reading!