Before going to church this morning I joined my online book club over at bloom for chapters 8&9 of Kelly Minter's, The Fitting Room. Today's chapter's were talking about peace. It's a teensie-tiny word that seems so hard for most of us to grasp. It sometimes seems the harder I chase after it the more elusive it becomes. If I just make "X" amount of money, I will have peace, as soon as I get married, I will have peace, if I lose weight, if I buy a new car, take a vacation....
I have also had my daughter, 7 year-old grandson, and granddog staying with me the last month. That creates a distinct lack of quiet, but that doesn't mean it has to affect my peace. I think my human view of peace is rather like translucent bubble around me. We all know from blowing bubbles how easily they pop. One of my favorite quotes from the book comes on page 113, "The "world" gives peace in the only way that it can give, which is always prone to punctures."
The puncture-proof kind of peace only comes from Christ. For years I never understood that. I have mentioned to several of my closest friends, (which now includes all three of you who read this blog,) that I have felt more at peace with my life in the last 6 months that I have felt in years. My financial status hasn't changed, same car, same leaky roof, still not married, but what has changed is my attitude.
What Pastor was trying to tell us this morning is that we can have that joy that comes from being able to do whatever we want to do. The peace and joy come about by being obedient to God's word and staying close to the heart of God. Psalm 85:10 says, "Righteousness and peace kiss each other." You can't have peace without righteousness and you can't have righteousness without peace. Kelly says it well:
"I wasn't looking over my shoulder, harboring any secret sins that were burdening me with guilt. I wasn't obsessively tormented by worry or dominated by fear.I wasn't in the middle of trying to work my way out of some tangled and sticky mess I had gotten myself into again. Surely I will have more time when things out of my control will challenge my peace, but insofar as it lies within God and me, I have peace, and for this I am grateful,"
Now I have the joy of doing "whatever I want," but what I want is no longer just to stay within the bounds of "permissible" and okay, but to keep striving for the holier ground. That is where the true peace is found....
Linking up with Michelle over at Graceful.
"Typically we write about the lesson we read or the sermon we heard in church on Sunday. That said, I am pretty loosey-goosey – you can write about a verse or even a hymn that you've been pondering anytime recently. Also, you can come by anytime during the week to link up – it stays open until Friday."