“Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)
Each time I hear of a bombing or a shooting, my heart becomes heavy for a short time. Those who lost their lives in the Paris attacks, the magazine and the multiple sites in 2015, those who became victims in Nice, Berlin and in Turkey at the end of 2016, those who were in that night club in Florida all come to mind. And I can’t forget the bombings of 9/11/2001 in my own nation. The metropolitan city of Indianapolis call 2016 the deadliest year in its history. The city of Chicago had 29 people shot in one night, several of whom died.
Concentrating on all these could have tended to bring me down. If I didn’t have the Lord, I would have gone into extreme sadness.
For several years now, I have chosen one word to guide me through each year. Last year my word was humble. God humbled me through the experience of my broken ankle and the ensuing rehabilitation.
After a lengthy search and a quantity of prayer, I have chosen my word for 2017. That one word is Peace.
I intend to aim my search inward as I try to discover personal peace in my heart. My prayers for others will be that they find peace for themselves and for each of them to find interpersonal peace with others.
I long for those who live in my neighborhood, with whom I transact business, and those who assist me with my health needs, to come to know Jesus Christ, to love Him and to follow Him.
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all of Israel. And, yet, I realize we won’t have world peace until Jesus Christ comes again. I remember a hymn I learned at church camp many years ago.
Let There be Peace on Earth
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we;
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.1
Dear readers. My prayer for each of you is that you find the peace of God in your hearts. And that you are able to reflect that peace of God to those around you.
1. Let There be Peace on Earth-- written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller in 1955. It was initially written for and sung by the International Children's Choir created by Easter Beakly and Arthur Granger of the Granger Dance Academy in Long Beach, California. The song's composers led a number of rehearsals for the children's choir from 1955 to 1957, and the song continues to be the theme for this group of children who represent a host of nations and who sang in Washington, DC near the White House in 2002. Jackson, who had been suicidal after the failure of a marriage, later said that she wrote the song after discovering what she called the "life-saving joy of God's peace and unconditional love." Wikipedia accessed 1/4/2017