Thankful November. For Peace.
Updated: Nov 3
Today, November 2, I am thankful for peace.
Oh how I love quiet Monday mornings. I mean, I would love them, if they existed.
The rooster, who doesn't understand about time changes, listened to his internal clock and announced the dawn before it arrived, as always. I pulled my coat over my pajamas and trudged out, glad the hose wasn't frozen, to feed the eager flock. A 20 minute news podcast reiterated current events in my ear as the birds clucked around my feet. As I finished, my husband crested the hill with the sunrise after his morning run. I think he was trying to impress me (well played, dear). We entered the house to the sounds of the youngest announcing from her crib that she was, in fact, awake and in need of sustenance. Preferably chocolate milk. He started coffee, I rescued the poor parched soul in footie pajamas. She snuggled against me as I paged though my one year Bible to find the date. She hit the bottom of the cup before I was though the passage in Daniel, and jumped down to find other reading material she considered more 2-year-old appropriate than the heavy handed autocracy of Nebuchadnezzar. The boys awoke as I hit the New Testament, bringing the noise of their woke-ness (ha!) to challenge my preconceived notions of study time. Sighing, I set the Book aside until a quieter moment, and rose to attend to breakfast, school prep, and the busy day ahead.
I know the world isn't peaceful. I experience it perhaps more tangibly than some, though most of the chaos around me isn't overtly worrisome. But I know. The diapers, bread, and bacon are often gone before I get to the store shelves. The people look at me suspiciously, since no one can see smiles anymore, afraid I might infect them with my obvious deficiency of too many germ-carrying offspring as the bored 7 year old attempts the mop the floor with his 5 year old brother at the endless line in check out. I watch the news and see fear, excuses to pillage and riot, frustration, desperation, and pointed fingers across my country. I see the other countries that look up to mine suffering from starvation, crumbling infrastructure and commerce, and rising rates of abuse, exploitation, terrorism and mayhem as they watch us spiral. The world I see isn't peaceful. No matter which elderly man wins the election tomorrow, the world will still reel in chaos.
On a personal level, I don't always have financial peace. I don't usually have the peace that I'll say the right thing. My foot likes my mouth. I don't have a home that sparks peace and joy; most of the stuff in it sparks frustration when it connects with my foot in the dark. I'm sure I could do something about all that - learn to budget better, stop talking, throw out 80% of the clutter. Even with those changes, I'd still live in a house full of mini drill sergeants who all think if they bark the loudest the rest will listen. I'd still be managing a bustling homestead with squawking fowl, hollering children, music, fighting, laughter, and the increasingly exhausted squeal of the dryer belt that is overly ready for retirement. My little world isn't so peaceful either. No matter what reaction anyone tweets tomorrow, my little world will still be plenty full of chaos.
So where is my peace? It’s not in the world, in politics or humanity. It’s not in my home. It’s not something I can muster from within.
Peace is only found one place.
It's there in the words I read a recently as the rooster crowed at the window and my daughter sat and bounced on my ankles.
Peace is supernatural.
It's not a right.
It's not a given.
It's a gift.
My only claim to it is by grace, not by proxy or premise. Peace is only natural to One, the Prince of Peace. He isn't shaken by any act of humanity. He isn't surprised by evil. He isn't worried by disaster. He is the God who governs by order and design.
So when the world appears to spin out of control, either within the borders of my country, the walls of my lively house, or even within my own mind, I cling to the solid assurance that God is still in control. If I suffer, He is still good. If my children suffer, He is still good.
"Peace I leave with you." Jesus said. "My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
I do not know what the future holds. It probably will involve hurt, frustration, and sorrow. But in the midst of the storm, there is a firm rock to stand on.
So today, I am thankful for peace.