Oh those words…

Have you ever had words spoken in your hearing that you knew would have been better left unsaid? The number of times I’ve experienced this is far too many to name, but each time it occurs anew I find my aching heart desiring more than ever for this to be the very last. Conflict, discord, selfish pride and pain, they all join hands and march on to war against all who hope for peace.

If only we would care to ask, “what good will it do to speak?” And finding no possible good to come of it choose out of love the gentle gift of silence.

The depths of hurt that could be spared if only we measured our words. I’m already trying to train Noah, only eight, to weigh the consequence of words before speaking in effort to teach him to live wisely and to build good, solid, trusting friendships. I’ve learned the monumental value of this lesson.

There are differences in people, differences in beliefs, in discernment, in what is valued and what is not. I love to see a peacemaker knowing that with them there will be kindness and grace. I tense to see a divisive person, knowing they leave in their wake a wedge of division between all who will listen. The difference is choice, rooted in care or lacking. How deeply sad that anyone would choose to hurt instead of heal, to tear down instead of build up…for any reason.

On this day after Thanksgiving, I’m grateful in the deepest places of my heart for the calm and quiet of home, for peace between me and my Maker that I know will never be disturbed. Though the storms of trouble may blow all around me, the truth of life and love that was established before the beginning of time is forever anchored in my heart. I well remember a time when this was not true, when I was tossed about like a ship on a tumultuous sea. I found these words of scripture, “Your Word is settled in heaven” and I prayed, “Oh Lord please settle Your Word in me.” He did, and of the peace that He alone can give and sustain, I am forever in awe.

I am so thankful that I am a lover of peace, that it is available to all who seek it, and that it exists apart from circumstances. To be able to withdraw into a quiet place, to be still and know that He is God and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him is a cherished blessing I find more precious with the passing of each day.

Of all my favorite scriptures, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9), is the one I most often look forward to in times of disappointment and distress. Hurt will not always have access to my heart; one day, only joy and peace, righteousness and truth, no division and no sorrow. What a wondrous promise, what a welcomed thought…

For everyone who also longs for a time of lasting peace, I pray this encourages you.

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