John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
Revelation 6:4 And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
For months, the fear in the air has thickened. We’ve been snappish and quarrelsome, looking for anyone who doesn’t think the way we do, act the way we do, have the priorities that we do. Even more than the fear of ill health or lost revenue, the humans with whom we live and interact have been brought to their knees by enforced solitude, ever-changing rules, and the mystery of broken friendships.
2020 has been “interesting”, as used in the classic curse, “May you live in interesting times” . Why has it been this way? Why are we seeing man’s hand turn against man everywhere we turn? Why? Wildfires, dead koala bears, a worldwide pandemic, radioactive fires, riots… what’s going on here?
This world is fallen. Without the grace of God, we see the ugly truth that surrounds us, the true nature of mankind.
Peace is a gift. And that gift has been withdrawn.
Have you ever been given that gift, the hour or the week of the peace that passes all understanding? I have. It is a precious, uncomfortable gift. It is respite. Respite from your swirling emotions, respite sometimes so thorough that you lose your footing, uncomfortable in your sudden lack of discomfort. You’ve lost your way, without your old struggles… and so you return to normalcy, and regret that you gave the gift back far too soon.
But all peace is a gift. Man’s nature is savage and cruel. Even cats haven’t invented the torturer’s rack – but we have. Bestial would be a compliment for what I see in the mirror. My cat might keep a lizard alive for a few hours, but humans? Humans can convince their enemies to kill themselves with mere words – for no more reason than that they can. We are fallen. We are evil.
Peace is a gift. We had that gift. We squandered that gift, with a thousand thousand cruelties hidden, with a thousand thousand twists of the knife on the public square. And now, we have not peace.
No peace in our hearts, no peace in our streets, no peace in our networks, no peace on our computer screens.
We could fall on our knees and humble ourselves, we could beg for that which we do not deserve, we could ask the One who gives graciously and generously.
We could do that. Some have.
We could, further, turn to that One and align with Him. We could ask to be held in His peace, even as we struggle. We could choose not to offend His rules, we could accept our place as children in need of a wise Father to guide us. We could walk in His peace, forever.
Fewer will do this.
But this is the decision that only you can make. Will you put down your self-sufficiency and ask for a gift?
Will you ask for peace?
Now is the time for repentance. Now is the time for renewal. Now is the time to change your course. This is your warning. This is your dress rehearsal.
Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
Now’s a very good time to get busy.