Sunday, January 12, 2014

Peace Maker or Peace Keeper

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her. "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water spraining up into everlasting life.

One of my biggest idols or addictions has been one of peace.  I love peace and have tried to have it anywhere and anyway I can get it.  My husband is a coach and a farmer by trade.  He has made his living by motivating by yelling lol.  God has such a sense of humor.  You can imagine how he has refined me through the life long commitment to a strong guy that motivates and calls by disrupting peace.  He would play the crowd cheering over the loud speaker at practice so the team could learn to hear the calls in the games in the midst of all the noise.  I love solitude and quiet.  I wake up to a cup of coffee and my porch amongst the nature at the farm.  He wakes up to a cup of coffee singing Gather Hymns. lol  We are so different but yet God says, I can work with this to make you complete together in me.  We serve an amazing God.  I can tell you that if I had gotten a husband that gave me the kind of peace I thought I needed I would have never found it in Christ.  Jesus knew this and gave us both just what we needed, someone different from us to rub against what we think we need to make us happy.  I can think God gave me for Danny, maybe so,  but the truth is God gave Danny to  me for me.

Peace Maker or Peace Keeper?

Are you longing for peace? We are told Jesus is our peace. That the Father promises us peace.  Paul uses it as a blessing to the church.  That means that through receiving Christ and trusting Him with our circumstances and the people it in through relationship with the Father and Son through the Spirit we can have peace.

We find ourselves, those who hate conflict and love peace, trying to keep the peace at all cost. Just so no one is mad at us we are fine. This is an illusion of what real peace is.

Sometimes to have real peace in a situation we have to enter into conflict. Life is made up of such times as these.  Where there is no conflict there is no solved problem.  Sometimes we have to walk away from conflict but sometimes we have to enter in. It maybe different each time as we pray for direction, wisdom and guidance.

If you are in a really hard place as far as someones anger you are dealing with or your own anger, you may have to get outside, compassionate, wise counsel and help. It is ok. When this happens there is usually shame involved. Shame loves secrets. It cannot survive when it is brought to the light.  Anger is  because we are not getting what we want, when we want it.  We are not trusting Christ in our present situation or the life He has given us.  Most anxiety is thinking we know better how our life should go.  Or it is for me.  I don't always see how things can work out, but He promises to use it all for my good and I can say He has and has glorified Himself through it.  Why should I doubt Him now?

Peace is promised to us by Jesus and the Father. It is not always easy or comfortable. Don't settle for a false sense of peace maybe by running and hiding in insolation. It is said that depression is anger turned inward.  So we all struggle with our anger.  It is either turned on others or turned on ourselves.  It can be costly.  Don't try to find peace by controlling others by your anger or manipulation which still can be anger. Find true and meaningful relationships. Do the hard thing. Fight for what is already ours, Peace in Christ.

True peace in Christ can be had no matter what our relationships or circumstances but God is a God of reconciliation and redemption. God wants us to be the first to change.  As far as we go reconciliation may not always be possible but freedom through forgiveness is.  He wants us to work through our problems in our lives if possible and sometimes that means disrupting the peace. Sometimes it means letting go. Things may fall apart before they get better, if they even do.   It is hard to trust Christ when this happens but He promises to bring good out of bad situations. He even uses our sin for good.  It maybe a hard road but He redeems it.  Life does not always look like we think it should but in Him we have true peace. We usually do fight or flight. We fight with people or we run away. Neither of these bring true life and peace. People and relationships are work but they are worth it in gold when we persevere, ask for forgiveness or share how we have been hurt knowing we have hurt Jesus more than anyone could ever hurt us. Again if you are at a stand still ask for help, counsel, and wisdom. Don't go it alone. We need each other and we need the body of Christ. Maybe contact someone who has been where you are or someone in your church or family.

Be a peace maker and not a peace keeper. It is worth it.

These are some pictures of a hike I took with friends.  It is amazing to me how plush and green and alive everything was that surrounded the waterfall.  So are our relationships when Jesus is our life.  Even if you are in a hard place there are people around you who will begin to change, you will change and have changed, as you step out of your comfort zone and risk being rejected and enter into their heart of pain.  Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that He is living water.  He is life bubbling inside of her.  Without peace, true peace, we have no life that Jesus promises.  He is for us.  He wants us to enjoy and delight in Him and others.

Jesus is our life, our living water.

When I don't have peace I can recognize it now.  I pray a simple prayer, Lord you promise me peace.  You are my peace.  I trust you with the circumstances and people in my life. I trust you to change me.  I receive all you have for me.  Please give me your peace, give me yourself.  But then there are times I just collapse in His arms, like now.  And He mets me there.