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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Ramifications of Peace

Well, everyone has gone off to work and peace has settled over the house. At least as much peace as is possible with two little dogs and one big brown lummox. Maxim goes out in the morning and comes in invigorated by the fresh air and his relieved bladder. Then he is ready to romp and the little dogs are ready to sack out again for a couple hours. The ensuing disagreement is very noisy. Two 10 or 12 pound terriers can’t really have much impact on an 85 pound lab, but they certainly give it their best shot. Grandma always has to step in and say, “That’s enough. STOP!” before everyone finds a nap spot and quiets down. It’s like having kids again. Sometimes Maxim even gets sent to timeout in his cave under the kneehole of the desk.

So now, Sebastian is on my lap, Gable is curled up among the bed pillows and Maxim is using one pillow in the appropriate way with his head and ‘arm’ cradled on it. The cats are sitting on their tower and the window seat looking out at something…I don’t know what. I can’t see anything, but they evidently have very good imaginations. Soft music is playing and the whole neighborhood is quiet. This really is a wonderful place to live. It is an upscale area where almost everyone in gone to work or the office by 9:oo am and there is very nearly no traffic, no kids and not even housewives walking a dog. Except for the one house I can see out my window, I could easily believe I was ten miles out of town in the country.

I was thinking this morning of the verse in Psalms, Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165) I was focused on the thought of ‘Great Peace” and how blessed it is. When I consider the state of our country and economy and society in general it would be easy to be caught up in the turmoil and have my peace destroyed. But our security rests in the Word of God and the things He has promised us. Jesus told us, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” ( John 16:33) What a blessed assurance. And He even told us the source of that peace, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.” You know the wonderful thing about the Lord is that He prepares us for every thing we will have to face and He tells us ahead of time to be prepared. And all we have to do is love his law. Then we not only have peace but we have great peace. Fantastic.

And then in Psalms David says, “nothing shall offend them” That is those who love the law of God will not be offended by anything. I considered how often today people choose to be offended. One of the words I find overused in our vocabulary today is “disrespect” and we often hear it said, “He was disrespecting me.” (What is unfortunate is that it is most frequently used by those evidencing no traits worthy of any respect) But my point is that these folks are choosing to be offended by something someone said or did.

I used to tell my staff who became upset when a child called them a nasty name, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, you don’t have to wear it.” In other words, if you haven’t done anything worthy of the name they cannot offend you, or “disrespect” you by using it. The name doesn’t describe you. It doesn’t fit you and you need not claim it. Only if you claim it does it 'disrespect' you.

Okay, I’ve gone around Robinson’s barn, but my point is that some people choose to be offended at words; so can we choose- allow- our peace to be offended. We can choose to worry about the state of the economy. We can choose to be in turmoil about the morals of today’s society. We can choose to be radical about the political climate in our country. I’m not stupid. I know the state of the world today. And I know that many scimitars hang over the head of our country. But I choose not to allow those things to offend, to disturb, me. And all of those things, if we allow them, will offend us, destroy our peace.

Or we can love the law of God. We can focus our thoughts and our energy on the Word of God. We can rely on Christ’s words and know that even though we see and have tribulation all around us we can still have peace in Him!! But only if we choose it!

Now isn’t that mind boggling.

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