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In Pursuit of Peace

Peace - Week Two

“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Psalm 34:11-15

Have you ever had a time when you just longed for a little peace and quiet? When my daughter was a baby, there was a period of time in which she was quite sick. She had asthma which was so severe we had to do breathing treatments every three to four hours around the clock. That meant one of us getting up throughout the night to do it. Further, the medication in the breathing treatments wired her up like the energizer bunny throughout the day which meant a very sleep deprived mom was trying to keep up with a very busy baby. It was akin to nailing jello to the wall. I remember one particular period of time in which she had been sick with a cold or flu along with the asthma problems. In addition to this, the carpet had just been replaced in the church nursery and every time we would walk in that suite she would immediately have a full blown asthma attack and we would have to go back home or to the doctor’s office. We had not been anywhere but the doctor’s office for more than two weeks. Who knew where my makeup bag was an emblem of a different life when I went out with friends and worked occasionally. Moriah was cranky and whiney and could not sleep for any stretch of time at all. When I would put her down for a nap I would lie down as well, trying to catch just a few moments of precious sleep. Just about the time my breathing would become even and my mind clear she would begin to cry and wail. After about four days of being cooped up in the house with this I was stressed out and, just between us, perhaps a bit irrational. Tim came home from working at church, only to put on a suit and tie to go to the funeral home. I began to weep uncontrollably.

“It’s not fair! You get to do everything fun and I never get to do anything!” My husband looked at me like I was from another planet.

“I am not going to a party, Tami. I am going to the funeral home, where people will be crying and sad.”

I let out another sob, “See, there will be people….people who are not throwing up and coughing and racing around like the energizer bunny! People who are grownups! You are going to have…(sniff, sniff)…conversations!”

Again my husband stared. He was staring at a woman who had no peace in her life at the moment. He told me I should get ready and when he got home he would stay with Moriah while I went out to Walmart (which should tell you how low I was on the peace scale....Walmart was a great big step up!) and just walk around and maybe find a few grownups to talk to or something.

I had no rest, no moment’s peace. I was in a bad place.

This passage in Psalms tells us we need to seek peace and pursue it. We don’t wait for it to happen to us. We don’t just hope for it. We are to hunt it and chase it down. We need peace in our lives. So many times at Christmas we get so busy with all the shopping and parties and events that we don’t make time for peace…time to reflect on why we are really celebrating….time for us to meditate on Him. This season why not set aside time to pursue peace. Make it a priority. Mark it on the calendar if you must. Take time to rest in Him and have His peace that He freely offers us. Enjoy some evenings listening to Christmas music and making cocoa together.

For parents, take a few moments to see Christmas through the eyes of your child. Does your child enjoy the box and ribbons even more that the gift? Let them! Make something out of it! Pursue peace through this Christmas season. When you things are chaotic and it feels overwhelming, remember that peace can fill your heart even when you surroundings are far less than peaceful. I hope your Christmas season is full of moments of peace and moments to connect with the Giver of Peace.

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