Friday, October 27, 2006

under the umbrella

There was something about my last night big hair Bible study that just made me want to go "Yesss, uh, huh, ok, thaz right!", but not before my uneasy peace was yet again disturbed by something-or someone, should I say. There was a new woman who came, which is great news, but I was in no mood to be ingratiating. I just wanted to be there with my homeys, enjoy cookies and chocolates and sit without being disturbed, like a visit to Grandmas, and strangers only took my cookies. I didn't even have to know this woman to take an instant eeewww attitude toward her. All week long our studies have been on peace, and all week long I've been painfully cognizant of how little of the stuff I have, how easily I get riled, how circumstances and certain people just needle me without even trying. That morning my mother-in-law was taken to the ER with chest pains, and she called the house at 5 am in a panic. Once again, my grrr indicator just shot up when I looked at the caller ID. My first impulse was not to be really worried. It was to be angry that she's "putting us out" yet again.

Well, back to my study. What caused the great, good reaction inside me was a familiar scripture in Isaiah-"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon His Shoulders and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace". Even typing that glorious piece of scripture makes the hair stand up on my arms. There is something about reading the conferred titles of God that excites my heart. My spirit joins with God's Spirit to say, that's right, that is right!! I know He's all of those things. The speaker, Beth Moore, focused on that scripture to say that the acquisition of peace is a matter of rule. My "uh, huh" became a little murky at that point, and she went on to explain. Peace is not a matter of all circumstances being in order, or an answer coming to end conflict. It is not the end of conflict at all, at least not outward conflict. Peace, God's peace, may be given by Him alone, and to the extent that He rules our hearts in any given situation or relationship, we have peace. Whew....ok. Somebody is not ruling in my heart today. Prince of Peace is not just something we sing about at Christmas. It means the Lord Jesus owns peace with the world and people. He is the author of it.

So, I tried to remember that as I was getting some delicious and much-needed sleep and the phone once again rang at 5 am. The conflict in my soul began and the negative thought-stream. Quick study that I am, I rolled over and made my husband answer it. Apparently there was no peace over my mother-in-law today, not from my heart. She goes in for a catheterization this morning. It took me getting up, walking around, thinking about it for a time, to feel any compassion, and further, any desire to go to the hospital. I decided to get a bouquet of flowers and have dinner for her when we bring her home. Ok, it's a start. As to the new woman who would eat my cookies last night, she shared a bit about herself after our dvd study was over. Darn it, it's always something to make me feel compassion-she did have a hard life. But I shouldn't have needed that to energize peaceful intent towards her. I only need the rule of the Prince of Peace.

One thing Beth Moore pointed out, and I'll close. She related a story about a mom going to the grocery store with a toddler, and out of nowhere it began to rain. Mom took out an umbrella to shield them both, and the little girl wanted to hold it. Of course her mommy tried to accommodate this desire, but it wound up with both of them getting wet. Things worked out when Mom picked up the little girl and together they held the umbrella. The moral of the story was, we need to be under the umbrella of God's government in all areas of life. I've really got some umbrellas to give up! Emily Dickinson wrote that the soul "selects her own society", which in the flesh is true. But we're called to be peacemakers as citizens of a new Kingdom.


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