The Way of Peace

In this day of so much miscommunication, Hope still shines brightly. Honest and open communication is the key to any successful relationship. Unfortunately, miscommunication can be the source of terrible strife and division. All the way back in the garden, the truth of what God said was twisted and misperceived, casting mankind into this perpetual battle with sin. Eve and Adam were pure and innocent in their understanding right up until their teeth crushed through the skin of that luscious fruit and the juice of sin and selfishness lustfully drizzled down their chin. At that point, “Me, Me, Me” suddenly became the center of the universe.

But I believe it has always been in the heart of our Heavenly Father that the source of all of our knowledge and understanding would come from our own personal relationship with Him. Our Father has always been about walking hand and hand with us in the garden. Jesus made the way, paying the ultimate price. Out of His great love, He created us and then He rescued us, all for the sake of relationship. The pathway upon which we walk is communion, in other words, we talk and relate to each other honestly, respectfully, continuously.

However, our prideful and self-centered tendencies are to go it alone, to look lustfully at the tree and say, “I can do this myself.” There lies our tumultuous struggle, not only truth versus lies, light versus darkness,  but more blatantly truth versus our perception of truth, in other words, the way we want the truth to be.

                “Did God really say…?” 

This very question still challenges our innate ability to communicate and to hear from God. The same concept can be applied to our everyday relationships; our family and friends, our workplace, even our church. Open, genuine and purposeful communication is the key to freedom. Miscommunication is the devil. It makes us prisoners to our fractured soul. In the garden, it caused doubt resulting in sin. Sin opened their eyes to nakedness or shame. Shame produced fear which resulted in hiding from their very own Father who loves them. We are all well aware of the end result, our own sinful nature that loves darkness and is afraid of being exposed to the light. The process remains the same; misunderstanding, lack of communication, vain imaginations and straight up lies continue to destroy lives, families and even cities and nations.

So what opens the door to truthful communication? Regretfully, often times it can be conflict. We sail along on rough seas ignoring and pretending the boat is not sinking; that is until the storm overtakes us. The wind blows, the thunder claps, our emotions become the rudder of our conversation and we will defend our self-centered belief system even to the death. I suppose conflict might be necessary when nothing else can tear through the walls of fear and pride but the problem with conflict is it always creates an atmosphere of chaos. Chaos will ultimately end in two polar opposite choices. One steers us to peaceful waters, understanding and reconciliation. The other’s outcome is a total shipwreck leaving behind the carnage of anger, bitterness, and an unwillingness to forgive. Relationships drown in a sea of pride and resentment.

Good news though…a lifeboat is on the way! His name is Jesus. Through the fog of chaos and confusion, He brings courage. The struggle to bring light into darkness is traumatic and requires much courage. The key is love but it takes courage to turn the key. This door is the way of humility and surrender, putting other’s interest first. It’s the way of the cross. Humility and weakness carry truth much further than pride and arrogance. Humility is the foundation of confidence and will always create an atmosphere of peace. Peace, however, doesn’t always look like calm waters. Jesus was sound asleep, perhaps dreaming of green pastures and quiet waters when his disciples frantically screamed something like, “We are all going to die!” Jesus however, arose from a place of peace, looked confidently at the storm and said, “Peace be still!” Winds died down. Waters became calm. Hearts again were at rest. Blue sky and sunshine emerged from the dark clouds. So may this thought be etched upon our hearts and a standard by which we all live,

               Peace begets Peace!

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91)

The meaning and purpose of life is two things, love God, love others. Love’s torment is passionately desiring God’s very best for ourselves and everyone around us. Love is the activity of thankfulness and was never meant to be passive. Love courageously initiates the relationship, especially in stormy waters. Love listens intently and patiently. Love speaks truth gently and cares deeply. Even in the midst of lightning flashing and thunder’s rumbling, love stays because love wins. Love wins!

Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

(Luke 1:78-79)