Can peace be found in this noisy world?

Calvin’s is maturity.
Matt’s is perseverance.
Richard said his word is “love….love for myself” and I think that might be the bravest love any of us can have.

It was in our New Year’s Eve worship and we spoke about one word to be a focus for our new year. We just spoke a minute or two, a simple suggestion but after we said the Lord’s Prayer together a few came to tell me their word for the year.

I’ve flirted with the one little word challenge(?) in years past. A month or so into the new year I was lucky if I remembered the word. Last year I didn’t even try. Hadn’t two failed years taught me to give it up? I’ve never been one for resolutions either, knowing there’s less disappointment when personal expectations are kept low. After all, I don’t need annual resolutions to add to the internal pressure I place on myself.

I didn’t choose a word last year, but as the year was coming to a close a word found me and it was lament. That’s not a word you choose going into a year. It doesn’t point to joy, happiness, fulfillment or hope.  As a movie, lament would be a tear-jerker. But it was also a word that brought healing.

There were many losses last year. Losses of life, of sobriety, of dreams and loss brings grief and grief brings healing. It’s a slow healing with no time constraints. Sometimes a scar develops and you think it’s healed over only to have the wound break open again. Often, the wounds will be tender for years. You have to remind yourself that feeling is better than numbing so you allow the grief to be a reminder of the joy and comfort of grace.

I made peace with lament and maybe that’s when I realized the word I need to rub off my rough edges is peace.

I’m flirting with disaster, I know. Peace? In this world?

Jeremiah 6:14The Voice (VOICE)

14 To heal the brokenness of My people,
they offer superficial words.
They say, “Peace, peace,” as if all is well.
But there is no peace.

This world is noisy. Noisy with sounds of uncertainty, with quarreling and violence. Hate seems to scream louder than love or maybe hate just gets better ratings.

Living with an introvert provides many quiet evenings at home but the noise inside my head, the noise no one hears but me, is what wakes me in the middle of the night. The noise reminding me of what I forgot to get done, who I forgot to call, the prayers left unsaid. That noise is louder than the neighbor weed-whacking his lawn on an otherwise quiet day.

Jesus knew his future. He knew his purpose and that it included his crucifixion and resurrection. His birth was one of miracles and now, his death would prove to be another miracle many would never believe. He would prepare his followers for the time his physical body would leave them. His words spoke a peace that only He can give.

John 14:27 NLT “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Eugene Peterson in the Message says it this way:

“I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”

Peterson acknowledges that the world often leaves us feeling abandoned and bereft. It comes from all sides: the government, family, friends, sometimes the church has left us feeling outcast and alone.

But Jesus says, He won’t leave us that way. Ever. And his presence brings peace.

That sounds big to me. I’ve not done well with peace. I get more than a little frustrated when I don’t get my way and patience is not part of my skill set. I’m thinking both humility and patience may have something to do with peace. Yes, this might be a little bigger than taking deep breaths.

It starts with acknowledging the presence of Jesus, Emmanuel. God with us. Breaking through the noise with His peace.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

12 thoughts on “Can peace be found in this noisy world?

  1. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk

    Hi Debby,
    What gorgeous words of peace you’ve penned here, considering the events of the past year of your life. Yes, lament is not a word that invites good feelings, but it is a word of hope after all, isn’t it? For during the time of lament as we pour out our hearts to God, then comes the comfort and peace It may take awhile but eventually it comes, just as he promised it would. Happy 2017 to you, friend! xoxo

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      It’s sheer grace finding peace in the lament, Valerie. I’m so grateful. Thank you for your continued encouragement.

      Reply

  2. Lesley

    I love how John 14:27 reminds us that peace is a gift- it is not something we have to work for ourselves but something we receive as we draw close to God. I think it is a great focus for the year. Hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      An important distinction, Lesley. Thanks for underscoring that for me.

      Reply

  3. Linda Stoll

    What a powerful post on the whole One Word thing. Your men’s words have deep meaning, as does yours as you look back, lament.

    Linger there a bit longer, don’t rush out of grieving too quickly, sweet lady. Jesus wept. And sometimes we need a season of mourning, too.

    May you find peace in that difficult process …

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I’m not rushing, Linda. Grief has its own way, its own time and I am trying to be gentle with myself, grateful God is in the center of it and has surrounded me with caring people. I’m thankful for your words that continue to buoy me.

      Reply

  4. Anita Ojeda

    What a beautiful word for 2017! I think in turbulent times, peace is something we must intentionally seek.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Definitely intentional, Anita. Some days more than others! (I think you had to search for it during your adventure in Chicken, AK ;))

      Reply

  5. Loved by the King of kings

    Did you read Michael Card’s book, A Sacred Sorrow, on the subject of lament? I read through it with a few friends this year, and it is SO good! If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend it!
    And yes, peace definitely has something to do with patience and humility. Peace and Patience are part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), and the filling of His Spirit in our hearts comes only through our humbling ourselves before Him and ascribing to Him His rightful place in our lives as Lord. And, by the way, Michael Card talks about the lament of confessing our sins and repenting before the Lord as a bridge that crosses over the chasm of our sinfulness to the very Presence of God.
    Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace, made the way for us to approach God and receive His forgiveness! Praise His holy Name! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      No, I haven’t read that book or even heard of it. Thanks for the recommendation. It’s always nice to have a few extra on the reading list. And thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  6. rjbritton

    I like that thought – humility and patience have more to do with peace. Something to ponder on.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Yes, I’m not thrilled with this realization. I was thinking peace might be easier. Thanks for your words rjbritton.

      Reply

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