I am a peacemaker. That can be a good and bad thing I figure. I have lived long enough to know that under the control of the Holy Spirit, it is a blessed gift for my family and home life. I have also come to realize that left to my flesh, it is more like a curse!
As a 48 year old, I have had my share of “ugh” moments. These are moments where conflict erupts, and tempers flare without much warning. Usually I am not the person in distress. I am the person in the room near the person who is in distress (lucky me!) Or I could be the third party in a group text where fingers are firing faster than tempers. Mind you, there have been plenty of opportunities in past years where I was the one with my mouth popping off at someone dear to me. But for the most part, I have become the peacemaker in my family of five. I am the person who feels compelled to “fix” the situations. The person who tries to calm…..sometimes control others, so that the situation is resolved and no one has hurt feelings. I have been labeled, and rightly so, as over-responsible. And this is not a good attribute as a peacemaker. This is where my flesh seeks to take control and I can do more harm than good.
When these moments flare up, my response is not one of condemnation, where my “ugh” is a vent of impatience and superiority. Rather, it is a inward cry of “Oh no! Now what ?!” It is a very helpless feeling actually, because as we have grown through the varying stages of a family, the conflicts have “grown” as well. What I mean is, they have become more complicated than working out sharing issues among siblings or parenting frustrations over bedtime routines being followed. Add to this, the stress of failing in my ability to keep the peace at times, much less help restore peace to a heated situation where words are slashing like swords.
In those moments, after frustration and failure on my part have left me feeling powerless to help, I have learned an all important lesson as a peacemaker. I really can’t do a thing to help! Failure and helplessness have a way of moving me forward in my faith. When I exhaust my abilities and wisdom, I am left to consider, “now what?”
The Bible teaches me in Matthew 5:9 ” Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”. So I know this is a worthy effort to be pursued on my part but the “how” is the key. Then I began to see that, like everything else in faith , it is less about what I can do and more about what God can do.
So I began to respond to the “ugh” moments differently. I began to inwardly turn to Jesus as soon as possible after the flare up began. Sometimes, the conflicts are so fast and furious that I am still trying to respond to the first text fired personally at someone when my kids are already zinging each other with fourth and fifth texts! I just want to shout at my phone like they can hear me and say “stop it!!”
Resolution is not always immediate. As typical of faith requiring us to turn to the Lord early and often, it is also about us exercising patience as we wait on His answer. But I have learned, the best weapon I have in my efforts of peacemaking is the Lord God Himself! It is like what I learned as a little sister. The sooner one hollers for mom the better! Why wait ?! 1 Peter 5:7 reminds me to cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me. So the sooner I look to the Lord for His wisdom and help the better!!
What is glorious about this key to peacemaking is it’s simplicity! I don’t have to figure out how to resolve each conflict. I don’t have to have the power to get those involved to do the right thing. I just bend my knee and let the wisdom and power of God move through His mighty Spirit in and through all of us involved!
And that is what I saw happen yet again recently. The Mighty, Loving Hand of our Chief Shepherd corral tongues and hearts , and an ego here and there, into submission for His glory. I have seen such hardened hearts soften under His ministry. Where I saw no way , He provided and inspired the way. What is impossible with man, is possible with God (Matt. 19:26) and I cry “Glory! Glory to His Name for that!!”