9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9 New International Version (NIV)
We are finished studying the Beatitudes in church, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped thinking about some of those verses. This one in particular we kind of glossed over and as we read over it quickly during the closing sermon (to sum up what we’ve learned before starting a new sermon series) I was thinking, “Wait a minute…peacemaker? I have no idea what that means. Stop!” I felt a little bit like Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss when she’s raising her hand sheepishly on the airplane as the flight attendant is going through the preflight instructions. Anyway, for the last couple weeks I’ve been thinking about this verse in particular and wondering what God meant for me to be a “peacemaker.”
I started by looking the word “peace” up online on dictionary.com. Silly you say? Well of course I knew what the word meant, but I find that when I look things up in the dictionary, even words that I already know, I discover a hint of meaning that I hadn’t really applied to that word before. As I was trying to write my prayer/poem for this I looked up words like, earnestly & passionately to determine what the difference is because as far as I was concerned they were perfect synonyms. Earnestly though is meant for more purposeful and giving serious attention whereas passionately is based strictly on emotion/feeling. You can say I’m a dork, but I think it’s neat to know, especially if I want to use both words in the correct context.
So getting back to the word “peace.” According to dictionary.com it has multiple meanings:
peace – noun
1. 2. () 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Reading through these definitions helped me narrow my train of thought. After all, I have no control over a warring group of nations which eliminates my role as a peacemaker according to definitions 1 and 2. I’m not too brave or Bruce Willis-like so I don’t picture myself scaling tall buildings and beating up bad guys in order to protect “the freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community” which takes away 4 and 5. I’m pretty sure that definition number 7 is reserved for a state that is not of this world and will only be found in heaven. This leaves definition 3 and 6. I am a mother and wife so I can help maintain (or attempt to maintain) “a state of mutual harmony” between my two children, and my husband and me and me and my children. What? You never fight with your kids? 🙂 I can also try to keep peace within myself by freeing my mind “from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, and obsession.” Ideally, I could keep my mind at peace without actually leaving my family to fend for themselves. Haha bad joke.
So after deciding these two roles as a peacemaker (peace for myself and peace within my family) I still wasn’t sure how this was supposed to be accomplished. Seriously, with all the things that have to be done in a day how can I stay at peace with myself, and try to support a peaceful loving environment at home amongst family members? The truth is, I can’t. God can. I began looking at various verses in the Bible that had to do with peace. And these are some of the ones I found:
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Where is the peace coming from? Jesus. Not me. He says above that He leaves His peace that He gives us. Really then, I need to remember that I’m not relying on myself, but on Jesus to give me His peace for my situation. Only once I am at peace with myself and God will I be able to fulfill my role as a peacemaker among others (like my two kids.)
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
The Bible tells us that God can grant us peace “at all times and in every way” which means that even when I feel like ripping my hair out because I’ve heard enough fighting for one day, or I’m worried that Mike’s first job will take us further from our family, or I’m beyond angry that the new recipe I just tried and spent an hour and a half making just bombed…God can grant me peace for all of that and more if I rely on Him and recognize His holy spirit working within me. (Probably trying to tell me to relax a little bit and take a few deep breaths.)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God, grant me peace in You.
I long to
Passionately seek You
Earnestly study your word
Always recognize Your presence
Constantly be in prayer
Embrace Your promises.
God, grant me peace with my children.
I am eager to
Patiently guide them to You
Echo Your goodness for them
Accentuate their strengths
Create moments that will be captured in our memories
Engage myself wholeheartedly in their day
God, grant me peace with my husband.
I yearn to
Persistently support him
Extend him my hands, my help, my prayers
Abundantly accept him, authentically adore him
Captivate his eyes and heart
Enduringly love him