I typically start my day in our den. It’s a type of sanctuary for me in the mornings. As I began to walk into the room this morning, I noticed that the pin in one of the door hinges had begun working its way out of the hinge knuckles. I made a mental note to get a hammer and tamp the pin back into place, which is why I’m writing this account here. Both our Lord and my wife know that I’ll forget all about this bit of maintenance if I don’t write it down!
Wired to Notice
I’m wired to notice things that need maintenance. I nearly always look at the tread on our tires as I walk to get in our cars. I look at our roof when we’re pulling into our driveway. When I log in each morning, I check how much free disk space I have on my laptop’s drive. I see these things because I look for them. But if you ask me how much milk we still have or what we received in our mail, I’ll give you a blank stare. I don’t look for these things, so I don’t “see” them.
“Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”
Searching Takes Effort
It’s striking that Peter wrote “search” for peace. We are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to search, to notice situations that need peace. Within the context of what Peter was writing about, this peace is with the people around us and with government officials. Peace is not like a door hinge or tire tread; it is more like searching for why your dishwasher is flooding your floor with water and fixing it. Often peace cannot be found without great effort.
God calls every believer to be a peacemaker. Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God1.” We may call ourselves God’s children, but if we want to be called children of God, we need to walk into trouble and use God’s wisdom, faith, and grace to transform trouble into peace. But we will never do this unless we are searching for peace. It’s a matter of sight.
Paraphrasing one of the times when Jesus healed a blind man:
Jesus asked the blind man, “Do you see anything?” The blind man said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly..‘’Mark 8:22–25 NLT
Searching for Godly peace is way beyond seeking inner peace through some sort of meditation. We are entirely unable to see clearly the situations that need peace. Even then, we cannot bring true peace into those problems without the Prince of Peace2, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, living in us. But…
The word “but” is marvelously powerful. It tells us that times and circumstances change. But, when the Prince of Peace is alive in us, we receive spiritual gift(s) from God to search for peace with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then the outcome from our searching will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ3.
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