Book opened in lap. Internet tabs opened to blogs, email, radio, dictionary, and stepson’s summer wedding page. Mind insistent on wandering. Made a list of verses from study notes related to living in peace. Chewed this for over a week:
seek peace and pursue it.
Asked husband, “What do you think these words mean?”
“Isn’t it pretty obvious?” he said.
But what do you do with it? This call to action. I asked another way, “Do you seek peace? How do you pursue it?”
Intentional. Tenacious. A deliberate hunting down. So many times I have prayed for peace in my heart over decisions or relationships. Like peace is a blanket the Lord would cover me with and not something I should strive to obtain. Shouldn’t a prayerful decision lead me easily to peace? When a clear answer doesn’t arrive, standing at a crossroads, I try to imagine the destination of a decision. Sometimes the landscape isn’t what I envision–with no peace waiting at the arrival.
Years ago these very words found me and call to me often still when I want to give up on or turn back from a difficult issue–that I must seek peace and pursue it. I am not surprised to find it spelled out across a page before me today. I focus on the words that precede.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:12-14 (NIV)
Not a passive voice. It is a continual call to action. Intentional. Tenacious. Snubbed? Seek peace. Hated? Pursue peace. The enemy’s lies a bitter bait that I have too often swallowed. That poison quick on my tongue, twisting my view, influencing decisions. My own sin wrapping around my ankle like a fruitless vine–turn from evil and do good … seek and pursue become louder.
I cannot change a heart, make someone forgive, or reverse regrets of life lessons, but as far as it is up to me, I can live at peace with everyone. Sometimes things don’t work out the way I’d like, but I can seek and pursue and trust that God is faithful and his timing is perfect.