“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you,
live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place unto wrath:
for it is written, Vengeance is mine;
I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger,
feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:
for in so doing thou shalt
heap coals of fire on his head.”
What a beautiful blessing a bountiful harvest of peace is! When this chaotic world threatens to bring storms of questions, doubt, fears, confusion, conflict, bitterness, sorrow, guilt, and hardships, peace brings a sense of solace, simplicity, solutions, and security. People everywhere seem to be craving peace these days more than ever— at home, with family and friends, at jobs, in churches, in communities, and for countries.
Sometimes our efforts to harvest peace seem futile, and, like wars, will never end. Avenging ourselves has become so culturally accepted and common place that we settle for enduring battles as our lot in life.
Maybe peace with some people isn’t possible. Maybe wars will never end. Maybe…but, according to the passage in Romans 12:18-20, I see hope for a peaceful resolve to some battles. I see a way to prevent or pause, at least, a few of them, while here on earth, and peace is a harvest I’d truly like to nurture.
I’ve learned the hard way that peace doesn’t come naturally. My husband and I can start a nice quiet morning with kind words, coffee and tea, Bible Study and prayer and, then, by noon we can be biting each other’s’ heads off over something petty, stressful, or difficult. Before we even realize peace has left our domain, we’re knee-deep in the heat of a battle. It’s often shocking, and can be extremely frustrating, when we’re truly desiring and trying to just do our work and have a peaceful day.
No matter whose fault it is, (which he’ll say it’s mine of course) fighting makes us enemies and never contributes to our productivity. Ever.
A peaceful harvest doesn’t just happen. If it did, everyone would be smiling and having a “Happy” Thanksgiving. Look around and you’ll see, many heavy hearts trying to survive the holiday rituals with relatives and reality.
We can talk and sing about joy, hope, and cheer during the holidays. But, not everyone is experiencing these blessings. The thing is, they’re so simple to share and are painless, priceless, and perfect for everyone, no matter their age, gender, beliefs, or behaviors.
Peace is a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. However, we have to set our lives up for it and submit to it. God is the provider of our peace, but we have to harvest it.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
against such there is no law.”
We can’t share peace with others, if we don’t have it. Nor can we sit around bemoaning the lack of peace in our world, and how hard it is to get along with people, if we’re not willing to live in peace ourselves.
Wars are not a fact of life that we have to endure. We can let God’s peace have a place in our hearts, nurture it, and serve it at our Thanksgiving tables.
Bring It Home
Hoping you have a harvest of peace to be thankful for this year.
Praying for you as we grow together,