It’s been a long day, and it’s only four in the afternoon.
Leaning over the kitchen sink, my chin resting on my hands, I gaze out the picture window. Trees sway gently in the breeze as sunlight dances with them, in rhythm to a beautiful song I cannot hear.
I wish the tranquility I witness in nature reflected my heart. But it’s more like a raging, stormy sea in here. Up and down, up and down, as waves of emotion churn and toss my insides.
My children begin scrapping in the background. Snapping away from the peaceful scene, I intervene, oh so wisely, with a raised voice as my blood pressure climbs skyward. Their little eyes widen as they look at me, ceasing their tug of war.
Yet the tug of war continues inside of me.
I want to be the peace-maker, the calm voice, the soothing touch.
But far too often, I flare and flame and make the problems a thousand times worse. Life has a way of boring down past the exterior to the very heart of me.
I am exposed as I stand here, yelling. The lack of peace in my own heart translates to a lack of peace in my home.
As I look at my children, Proverbs 3:17 echoes in my mind. A verse that has beautifully haunted me for years.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
The verse speaks of wisdom, not a woman specifically. Yet in a verse directly preceding, it says,
She is more precious than rubies…
Sound familiar? A strong correspondence to the Proverbs 31 woman, written in verse 10 of that famous chapter,
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
I want those words to describe me. Pleasant and peaceful. Even in the midst of the hectic pace of life.
Clinging to my Maker instead of to my problems. Holding fast to the Rock, not the quicksand of circumstances.
I know I can’t live in the past, berating myself for my failures in being pleasant and peaceful.
Life is a journey. At times it is one step forward, three steps back. But I can go forward, one day at a time. Me and you both.
I meditate on Proverbs 3:17, and what it could mean in my life. In the life of my family, and in the generations to come. What it would mean to stop fighting life. To accept the frustrations and the friction.
To be a kind word to family and friends. A warm smile. A comfort to a troubled heart.
The new job will fall through. Family and friends will hurt and disappoint me. My husband can’t always tenderly meet my needs. My children will constantly need correction and guidance. The brakes on the minivan will start smoking on the way to the long-anticipated outing.
Reacting in annoyance or bitterness to life’s situations and people’s shortcomings fans the flames of selfishness and lack of self-control in my heart. It creates a ripple effect.
Frustration begets frustration. Anger begets anger.
Pleasant ways beget pleasant ways. Peace begets peace.
The tranquility I saw in nature can reach my heart.
In the midst of the messy, I can remember that God has called me to live thankful. To accept the things beyond my ability to control or change.
To remember that each person in my life is a precious, eternal soul. I have the opportunity to influence them for God’s glory.
Jesus didn’t live, die and rise again to give me a pain-free, perfect life. That isn’t possible here. He promised trouble on this earth, but I have the greatest hope. The hope of forever with Him. One day, He will make all things new. In Him, we can have joy and peace.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.