It’s a common joke. In the movie Miss Congeniality, when Sandra Bullock’s character is asked what society needs most, she reluctantly imitates previous beauty pageant answers and adds “world peace” to her statement. The crowd cheers wildly each time “world peace” is the given answer.
If we think like that beauty pageant audience, then “world peace” may also be at the top of our own list of most important things. But is this really true? Do we really want peace in our world? If so then why don’t we put more energy into establishing peace in our own sphere of influence?
There is no peace when….
We continually believe life has shortchanged us.
We constantly argue with our spouse or kids.
We fight in our business or profession, become rivals, and sabotage each other.
We fight in our churches over finances and features.
We let young people ridicule and harass each other.
We speak rudely and act in disdain against our fellow neighbors.
When we do these things in our own little world, we mock the idea of peace and there is no credible value behind our stated desire for “world peace.”
This is what the Psalm writer says.
“My life has too long had its dwelling with him who hates peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” Psalm 120:6, 7
I am not certain it’s possible to be at peace when “wars” surround us.
Today there are many “wars” around me. My heart is being crushed from the lack of peace in my own sphere, and I see no change on the horizon. I want to fight back or I want to escape.
I look to a manger. I look to a cross. I look to the One who said,
“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.” John 14:27
If I claim to believe the Bible, then I must believe what Jesus offers is possible.
Instead of escape, or the exhaustion of fighting back, other worldly peace IS available.
It seems that it’s already in my hand.
I just have to take it into my heart.
Lord, help me see. Show me peace. A place to rest in spite of the fight. Rain it down. Give me the grace to take hold of Your offer and make it real in my soul…in spite of…. Amen.