Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I am hosting In Other Words today: True Peace

Peace is not an easy concept to grasp. It sounds like the ideal state for which to strive...so much so that the political fad of the day is brokering peace accords--agreements between nations to live, if not in harmony, at least without war. This very tenuous kind of peace depends upon the signers of the accord keeping their promises. While I am sure not all such accords are signed out of political expediency, this peace - "as the world gives" - is not lasting. It can be broken over the most trivial of events: a change of political office holder; a perceived slight or insult. The world gives a temporary peace.

The Woman's Study Bible ( 1995, Thomas Nelson Publishers) says this:
Peace...is much more than the absence of conflict; it is an objective reality that brings harmony to life. Those who have not experienced the new relationship with God are subject to His wrath (Romans 1:18; 8:7, 8). The relationship between God and His creation is restored through faith in Christ, dissolving all enmity. The result is peace.
This peace is not between people. It is a restoration of the relationship between Creator and creation. With peace established, joy follows because there is joy in the presence of the Lord.

Practical Application:

I must admit I have let circumstances overwhelm my sense of peace these past few months. It seems that worry is a great thief of peaceful living. No worry is harder to overcome than that for our children.

When our son left for USMC basic training, my peace seemed to shatter all around me, but that was really an illusion caused by me diverting my eyes from the One in whom is perfect peace and joy.

Evidently while I was ready for my children to move into their adult roles, I wasn't totally ready to relinquish my protective tether. As of this posting, our son has been at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island, South Carolina, for 108 days instead of the 89 days we expected.

He graduates at the end of next week, 3-1/2 weeks longer than is typical due to some medical issues that occurred right as he entered the final phase of training. To say I worried is a gross understatement. With communication limited to letter writing, the need to know how he was doing consumed my waking moments--made longer by sleeplessness, caused of course, by out-of-control fretting.

This preoccupation with circumstances not under my control caused me to become very ineffectual as a Christian in all aspects of my life. Tearing up every other minute was not a very good testament to my faith.

The turning point in my transformation from fear to trust was caused by two things: 1) Our son made an off-hand comment about how he was getting more letters from Dad than Mom; 2) In an effort to rectify that and to encourage him during the toughest week of boot camp, I have been collecting and handwriting for him, devotions that reveal the steadfast love of God in times of difficulty and testing. Each one I copied and mailed to him helped chip away at the icy fear around my heart.

I can't say that I'm basking in the warmth of God's peace as I write this--too much is still to come before our son returns home--but I am finding myself pausing to feel the heat of His love for increasingly longer periods.
Let us give His love full scope. Nothing happens by itself, and every sorrow, every trial is part of the plan of love, part of refining.
Love meant it.
Love sent it.
Love will bless it. ~Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), missionary to India

For Further Study:

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, The Great Life
Back to the Bible Radio Program, Where Can I Find Peace?
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Steps to Peace with God

Please leave a link to your blog post here.


Sarah said...


Here is the link to my post.

Sarah said...

Thank you for hosting this week. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I have no doubt that while you have concern for your son you are also overflowing with love and pride for your Marine. Kind of neat to think that your son has been right down the road from us all this time. The blogging world is cool like that. Please accept my sincere thanks for your son's service and for your support of him.

Tami Boesiger said...

My, oh my, Patricia, we were thinking on the same wavelength. I also wrote about worrying over my kids. TOUGH stuff. Thanks for hosting.

My link is The Continual Learning Curve of Trust.

Jessie at Blog Schmog said...

This peace thing is hard! I had not been basking in His peace lately either. I'm letting fear shadow his mercy and love. Ugh! Your post is convicting and yet a strong gentle reminder.

If life is a river I'm swimming upstream but soon it will cause me to drowned. God wants surrender. Sigh. Now I'm going off again :)
Save it for the post lady. Haha

mamas*little*treasures said...

Good morning Patricia - thank you so much for the reminder - and for sharing your personal journey through a difficult time. We are all so grateful for families like yours, and for young service members like your son, for all that they do to protect our country. Please give him hugs from our family ;o)

My own struggle with finding peace is far more mundane than yours, but I still needed the reminder that peace is only to be found in Him. Thank you for your post today!

Karen said...

What is so wonderful about Jesus is even though we give up our peace for worry making a very poor exchange, Jesus' peace is always there for us to curl up in. Seeing a child go off in the service would be very difficult, a tremendous interruption in our idea of "peace" Praise the Lord we have Jesus to lean up to bring us back into His "perfect" peace. God bless you and your family!

Denise Hughes said...

Thank you for hosting this week and choosing such a great quote! (I love it when the quote is straight from Scripture!) I really appreciate the way you talked about the "worldly peace" that is offered, yet it is always temporal, with strings attached. God's peace is indeed eternal.

Worrying about our kids seems to be a central theme in the life of moms! Bless you for raising your son to be a protector of peace. I pray that God's peace will surround you during this difficult time.

Love to you,
Denise Hughes

MiPa said...

Thank you for posting this week. Praying for you and your son as you embark on this letting go phase. Wonderful reflections of how to put into practice trusting God with what he says.

Debbie said...

How wow; I can understand your dilemma. I'd probable struggle with worry too if my son were in boot camp. But do we trust the Lord with our loved ones? I know that the Lord loves my husband more than I could ever love him and that's the same with your son. I know it's easier said than done since I still struggle with worry over things I have no control. But slowly I'm learning and it helps me to see examples of real people who are living lives of faith and trust in the Lord.

Thanks for hosting this week.


Esthermay said...

Absolutely! ... Peace is not an easy concept to grasp! Even Christians dispute over the role and presence of the Holy Spirit.

...it is refreshing to read an account of a military mom whose PEACE is true and warm as it comes from the ONLY source of Peace.

Thank you for sharing such a personal and touching testimony.

...LOVE that you handwrite those love letters. :-)