There always seems to be a lack of peace in the world, watch any good news cast and you can find a heartbreaking story somewhere. Right now the peace most Americans were hoping would dawn with the new president has disappointed, the economy worsens daily, and the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the worst draught ever is expected for California. This does not include the perpetual wars in central Africa, the corruption in Latin America, the poverty in Asia etc etc etc. I usually can't spend much time thinking about these kinds of concerns because they depress me a great deal and I have no control over them. I just find myself calling out to God, "Father, when will You return?"
I am able to function in this peaceless world if there is peace in my family. But since the world has become so chaotic and troubled, it has started to bleed into my little world and affect my family. I don't like it. Money worries, fears over the political process, and a general heaviness of heart has invaded my family. And I wonder, where is my peace? Is it found in the company of congenial family and friends? Because if it is, I'm in trouble right now.
My peace should be found in Jesus, found in the knowledge that God is in control and that everything that is happening is in compliance with His plan. But it isn't, my peace is found in my circumstances. My faith is often so weak that I panic and freak out at the slightest thing. Am I capable of changing this? No. Never have been. No matter what happens in my life I pretty much react the same way I always have. Hence the "hollymakesfourleftturns" in my blog address.
The good news is that sometimes I manage to shut up long enough for the Holy Spirit to work through me. That's what I'm trying to do today. To ignore that my mom is fighting with my brother-in-law, that my father is facing divorce or relocating far away from me, that my sister is often stuck between her family and her husband, that I do not have enough money to pay for the car repairs needed asap, that I don't have the money to pay for my ONE class I'm taking at seminary this semester, that my parents will likely pay for both of these expenses even though they are worried about money too, that my mother is facing losing her job, that my sister is looking at a pay cut, and that my brother-in-law is likely to get a IOU today instead of a paycheck from the State of California. The song on the radio is "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel and it makes me want to cry. Because that's how I feel today, homesick for my place in heaven, for my home where there is no sin.
I did some research on the word 'peace' in the Strong's Concordance and I noticed an interesting pattern. (see chart below-the bold type was added by me)
Result of search for "peace":
1514. eireneuo i-rane-yoo'-o from 1515; to be (act) peaceful:--be at (have, live in) peace, live peaceably.
1515. eirene i-ray'-nay probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity:--one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.
1517. eirenopoieo i-ray-nop-oy-eh'-o from 1518; to be a peace-maker, i.e. (figuratively) to harmonize:--make peace.
2270. hesuchazo hay-soo-khad'-zo from the same as 2272; to keep still (intransitively), i.e. refrain from labor, meddlesomeness or speech:--cease, hold peace, be quiet, rest.
4601. sigao see-gah'-o from 4602; to keep silent (transitively or intransitively):--keep close (secret, silence), hold peace.
4623. siopao see-o-pah'-o from siope (silence, i.e. a hush; properly, muteness, i.e. involuntary stillness, or inability to speak; and thus differing from 4602, which is rather a voluntary refusal or indisposition to speak, although the terms are often used synonymously); to be dumb (but not deaf also, like 2974 properly); figuratively, to be calm (as quiet water):--dumb, (hold) peace.
I was surprised by two things; how often it describes peace as meaning that I am to do nothing, to stop, and be quiet. But also that so much of the language is what I am responsible for: to be, to keep, to refrain. These are things I am to do, regardless of the circumstances that caused the situation.
Now the radio is playing Johnny Cash's "There Will Be Peace in the Valley." God is so good to me.