Listening for Peace

For a week I prepared my
story as to why I did poorly in math.  I
thought of various rationalizations.  I
thought of excuses.  I thought of all the
homework I didn’t do.  I conjectured that
an “F” could miraculously transform into at least a “C”.  It was a long week filled with anxiety.  What would Dad say?  What would Dad do?  Then the day came.  I peeked at my report card.  A blazing neon “F” blared back at me.  My heart pounded.  I hoped an angel would swoop me off the
earth.  Maybe the world would come to an
end before I could arrive home.  Any
sense of peace had long since left me.  I
walked into the house.  Dad asked to see
my report card.  I handed it to him.  Then Dad sat down and did the worst thing he
could have done – he wept.   That is
all…. he wept.
All sense of peace disappeared.  Every time I looked at Dad, I remembered that
I made him cry. Something in our relationship was broken.  I no longer hadthe position of the blessed
daughter, but a deep disappointment.  He
loved me, but the relationship was strained.
What is this elusive
condition of the heart and the mind? 
This thing called Peace.  Peace is
not the absence of strife, the outward show of fighting?  It has the essence of purity, the sweetness of
forgiveness, the delicate aroma of obedience and the foundation of love and
joy.  Peace is a conscious choice made
each moment of our lives to be in harmony.
“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.”
Job 22:21
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole
spirit and soul and body be kept
blameless at the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I
Thessalonians 5:23
How can we achieve this gracious joy of
peace?  Our pastor proclaimed that we
should listen for peace.  Immediately
questions arose in my mind.  What is
peace?  How do we achieve peace?  Why is peace a good state of being?  Can we enjoy the state of peace in the midst
of turmoil or pain?  What causes peace to
vanish?  Some of the ways of disturbing the
peace in our hearts are secrets, untruths, unforgiveness, judgemental thinking,
addictions to erase stress.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called
sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Listening is a key to being a peacemaker.  And the most difficult key to being a
peacemaker.  Those involved in a conflict
are wounded and at the heart of every act of violence is an unhealed
wound.  When we meet a conflict with
conflict, angry words with angry words or an aggressive act with an aggressive
act, peace is broken in the hearts and in the minds of the those involved in an
ever growing circle of gossip. 
God’s Word gives us the key to peace, and there
is no law against peace.  It is a part of
the fruit of the spirit.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness,
self-control; against such things there is no law.” 
The verses just before these two verses speak of
the chasm between the desires and gratification of the flesh and the desires of
the Spirit.
The works of the flesh are obvious and lead to brokenness:  Now the
works of the flesh are evident: … sexual immorality, impurity,
sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife,
jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness,
orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
works of the flesh and the works of the heart are relational.  Choosing whom you will serve is a matter of
relationship.  The fruit of the flesh
create division and hate while the fruit of the spirit create love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control.
Equip ourselves with God’s Word readies us for
the snares of the Evil One.  Being
equipped draws a picture from the past when we walked to the waiting room.  I followed a ‘ready man’ as he proudly
carried our eldest son, Dan.  Ed wore
cowboy boots and jeans and a flannel shirt. 
His back pockets spoke volumes of readiness.  The left back pocket held a diaper partially
tucked in.  The right back pocket held a
baby bottle.  Everything Dan needed was
‘at ready’.
years ago, our family of four children, Ed and me, sat at the supper and
discussed what we wanted on our tombstones. 
We decided to place a screwdriver in Ed’s casket because he likes to fix
things.  The children said mine should
be, “She was just trying to help!”  It
was a freewheeling way of life-planning. It gave us all some self-evaluation of
the way our lives were going.
may the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all
times in every way. The Lord be with you all. II Thessalonians 3:16

Comments? eacombs@att.net


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