Peace to You

Peace? fb peace

The cessation of war.  The antonym of chaos.  A friendly greeting. A state of silence.  Harmony.

Lots of words and phrases come to mind when I hear the word PEACE.  As a teacher, a state of silence is a lovely gift.  As a friend of a marine, cessation of war is treasured.  As a single lady with a busy schedule, the opposite of chaos is a blessing.  As a friend, sister, daughter, and aunt, a state of harmony is so sweet.  Yes, peace is a good, good thing.

During this second week of Advent, I was challenged to possess and pass peace as I walk this journey.  If you know me, the first thing my mind thought was, ” Alliteration!  My students would identify the example easily.”  Yet, I pondered my daily, weekly, yearly, and life journey.  I was reminded of how often I pray for peace.

This life can be filled with uncertainty, so a peaceful spirit points me to the presence of the Prince of Peace in my life.  I think back to May 2017 when my father fell outside of Krogers.  A few weeks later a throbbing headache prompted his trip to the ER.  Tests sent him to Louisville.  In the early morning hours on Memorial Day (I believe), he was wheeled into surgery.  It was the middle of the night, so no pastor or minister was there.  It was my dad, mom, one of my sisters, and me.  In the middle of the night with an unknown journey ahead, I prayed for peace. As the three of us sat in the waiting room, Sherry & I would try to keep Mom’s mood light and insert laughter to help alleviate her worries.  I realized that in the midst of the unknown a peace dwelled within me.  A peace that said regardless of what happened in the operating room the Great Physician was holding my dad’s life (and brain) in His hands.  [FYI, he made it to Connor’s high school graduation that Friday having been released from the hospital on Thursday afternoon.]

fb peace1This fall, my mom had some blood count and sugar count issues that took her to the ER and the ICU a time or two.  As I sat down in a parking lot during Old Court Days attempting to sell children’s books, I learned that she was back in the ER. When Saturday’s hours concluded, I headed up to the hospital.  When I arrived, Dad went home to take care of their dog and get some items.  While he was gone, Mom and I talked about the unknown journey of diabetes and unidentified blood issues.  It was obvious that there was a sense of unrest, so I stood next to her bed and prayed.  I prayed for her, Dad, and the physicians.  And…I prayed for a peace that surpasses understanding.

I remember way back in 1992-1996 how often I would pray for a peaceful spirit in the midst of my unknown journey.  Trusting and hoping that the next phone call would offer me a teaching position.  In the midst of each disappointment and alongside each tear of rejection, I was reminded of the peace He gives me.  Even when the world doesn’t make sense and when our life is not what we had planned, we can experience the peace of Christ.

The job came, yet the unrest of singleness continued.  Just when I would believe I had accepted that aspect of my life’s journey, someone would utter that dreaded question, “Are you seeing anybody?”  Of course, if you know me, my go-to is generally humor (well, sometimes sarcasm) and I’d reply, “Yep, I see about 20 kiddos every single day.” I knew their heart was in the right place.  From their point of view as a married person, they believed my life wouldn’t be complete until I found ‘the one’.   Thankfully, the only person who tends to toss the question to me these days is my oldest sister.  Now I simply say, “If I was, you’d know.”  Each time the question arises as well as on New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, I generally utter this familiar prayer again, “Lord, give me Your peace and help me trust You with all aspects of my life.”

Ah, the peace that surpasses understanding.  That is what Jesus gives.  That is what is offered to those who choose to call on Him as Lord and Savior.   Oh, how much a peaceful spirit can testify to the greatness of God.  From my perspective, a peaceful heart in the midst of chaos and unknown steps is part of our testimony as Christians.  It doesn’t make sense to the world for someone to walk in peace when hatred surrounds her.fb prince peace

Just as Pastor Mike challenged me this morning, I challenge you to possess peace daily.  Pray to practice it in your speech and actions.  Then, while you possess it, take the time to pass it along.  Whether you pass it to others through prayers or through actions of kindness and service, I pray you will be a passer of the peace you  possess to point others to the presence of the Prince of Peace.

{Yes, I had to end with alliteration too.  It’s what I do. }

 

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