If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
While growing up on the banks of the Big Elkin Creek I found peace in listening to the water flow as it made it’s way down to the Yadkin. When all was not well, which was quiet often inside the walls of my home I would set out for the woods across from my house to the branch or down to the creek. My favorite place was at the end of Daddy’s bottomland. Here the Big Elkin is a bit louder as it turns the bend and rushes over rocks on it’s way to Carter Falls. Long ago there was a huge fallen tree that I loved to climb up on and think. Sometimes I’d take my pink bound diary and a pencil with me. There I’d write down what my heart was feeling. This place offered a young girl solitude and calmness. What more could a person ask for than to be at peace?
In that spot I made all kinds of promises to myself, and God. I thought I wanted to join the armed forces, or become a teacher. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be destined to write down stories. And especially not to have them published. But here I am typing away. I’m only a few short weeks away from having my second novel published and I’m pretty close to signing a contract to have one of my children’s stories published next year. I can say with all assurance, all is well with my soul. I am at peace with my life and what I am doing.
Often that peace is hard to find. Not everyday is smooth. Sometimes there’s a rough edge here and there that I have to maneuver around. An occasional splinter is bound to pop up every once in a while. Sometimes that splinter might disguise it’s self as the husband. And then there’s the daughter. Lord have mercy it’s hard to stop being a mama and let your child run her own life. Then there’s the granddaughter, no problem there. She’s still young enough to think I’m cool. Plus the fact I take her shopping.
Then there are other obstacles outside the family that tries to slip into a person’s life and prick our happiness. The neighbors kid rides his motorcycle on Sunday afternoon while you’re trying to nap, or the other neighbor’s dog is barking or coming over for a visit to eat the cat food. Then there’s the lady in the check out line in front of you that is bound to find the correct change even if it means dumping out her entire purse on the counter. Or, the slow poke in front of you on the highway that just won’t move over and let you pass. And what about that person who you know intentionally said something to hurt your feelings? Me thinks God’s children have become a bit impatient, unruly and opinionated.
The Lord tells us to live peaceably with all men. That is very hard to do when God’s children are not living in one accord. By this I mean when we are not in God’s will. One person wants this, another one wants that, one desires his way and another demands theirs. God’s people might just be grumbling and complaining too much, don’t you think? When we put our wants before Gods and stop asking Him for guidance things will never be the way God wants them to be, and we’ll never be at peace.
Yes, we are all individuals. Yes, we have minds of our own with thoughts of our own. And, yes we all want our own way. But, most often our way is the wrong way. Why can’t we just follow the Word of God and be about His business, instead of the business of others?
We live in a world of hurting people. Souls are hungering for assurance that there is more to this life than what they see in front of them. People want to find peace. Humans have a strong need to feel loved and cared for. My hope and prayer is that we will be a people of faith: That our homes and churches would be places where a stranger might walk in and feel the spirit of the Lord and love all around them. I want to be the part of God’s family who reaches out to the oppressed, the needy and especially the lost.
Where do we find that perfect peace? We start by searching our own heart. Are we trying to make decisions because that is the way we want things to turn out? Or, are we praying for God’s will? God wants His people to be filled up with Him to the point that He’s spilling out and onto others. We are to show God’s love and mercy, we are to live peaceably with all men.
Do I ever get mad? Do I say things I sometimes regret? Unfortunately yes. But I am trying harder every day to be the kind of person God wants me to be. James 1:19-20 tells us: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Needless to say I am a work in progress, but at least He’s still working on me. What about you?
Here’s another excerpt from my soon to be released novel, The Color of My Heart.
From the looks of Inesta’s hands, Nelda didn’t know how she could do anything with them. Me-maw’s fingers were twisted and knotted. Arthritis had settled into her once hard-working hands, leaving them as contorted as a wicked old witch’s. Inesta Calhoun was far from a witch, though. She was the most amazing woman Nelda had ever known. Her life was like a history book full of dramas. Defeat or accomplishment, no matter what, her me-maw took whatever life threw at her and made good with it. From her ancestors, Inesta inherited a strong will, quick mind, a good, pure heart, and a sweet spirit. Nelda wanted to do all she could for her me-maw while she was able, even if it meant climbing the twenty-seven stairs to Me-maw’s room to eat while gazing out the window at the mountains that Inesta loved so much.