Hmmm... peace. James #15 . . . vs. 17-18
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As I looked in their eyes--a room full of young moms--I saw a myriad of dispositions as I spoke . . .
bliss as one breastfed her beautiful infant~
worry as another admitted she's battling a tough time in her life~
curiosity - could my stories be true? And of course, sprinkled through the MOPS audience, I saw fatigue too, because Mothers Of Preschoolers have a lot on their minds. My topic was 'Maintaining Joy in the Monotony' and I loved being with them! Besides, I have a few things to say on motherhood; after all, one school year I had a student in preschool, one in elementary, one in high school and still another in college - yes, all at the same time. And it truly can be a challenge to maintain joy in the monotony.
When one can choose joy, despite circumstances, peace is a by-product. As James breaks down godly wisdom, we find the element of peace. "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." James 3.17
While I'm not exactly sure what 'love is a many splendored thing' means, I am certain that peace is a multi-faceted thing. 'Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.' Those who cultivate peace reap the holiness of God. Whereas the opposite of the one who is a peacemaker makes me think of the Peanuts' character, Pigpen. Pigpen walks around in a cloud of dust, sprinkling dirt on all he comes in contact with, (from a Peanuts' website). Yup, the opposite of the one 'who sows in peace' is the one who is always 'stirring it up'. Hmmm . . . 'know anyone like that?
Peace. . . a multi-faceted wonder. Let's consider her features --Peace with God - Because of what Christ did for us on the cross, we can have peace with God. "Therefore since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us."1
I love this about being a Christ follower--it is not what WE do to be at peace with our Maker, it is about what he DID for us. Such love . . . he is our peace - Jesus represented peace in bodily form, and he still does today. "For he himself is our peace."2
Think of this~ we have immediate access to this peace; it doesn't have to be channeled by a swami or an auditor or anyone else ... thank God! "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." St. Augustine said. He was right.
These words of Jesus have meant so much to me: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.3 I have written out this verse and given it to many a hurting heart, confident that Jesus' words are life! C.S. Lewis said "God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."4
Recently, I referenced the Beatitudes and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God...5 We are not meant merely to be at peace, but we are to broker it as well. Honestly, we can choose to live in harmony with others most of the time. If we watch our words--so they don't provoke, incite or slander . . . if we make things right in the event of misunderstanding . . . if we keep short accounts . . . if we afford others the benefit of the doubt, then we are striving to be peacemakers. If we are peacemakers, we will not be easily offended and will choose to think the best about others as well. Reread that, Friend, and take that 'If'.
'Peace to you, my brothers and sisters. By the way, are you a Pigpen or a Peacemaker? Something to consider honestly. Do you have the peace of God in your heart? I pray that you do--if not, reach out to God; ask him to fill your heart and mind with himself. He will ... he's good like that. Hmmm yes, peace.
1 - Romans 5.1
2 - Ephesians 2.14
3 - John 14.27
4 - Mere Christianity, p. 50
5 - Matthew 5.9