Peace and Quiet
This morning has been beyond crazy. I thought a moment ago if only I had a minute of peace and quiet I could pull it together. I could take a deep breath. I am not even asking for 10 breaths. One would be fine, please. Just one.
Then the Lord in his grace reminded me he did not come and promise quiet, but he did come and promise peace. It seems they are two very different things.
Good ole Webster defines peace this way –
Peace- “1. a state of tranquility or quiet; as a freedom from civil disturbance;”
UMMMM am I missing something? As a mother of 4 kids, who also happens to home school them, by this definition, peace is far far out of my reach. IT IS NEVER EVER quiet up in the Ottinger house. Well maybe it is from the hours of 11pm until 6:30am a few nights of the week. And as much as I wish I could put on a face and tell you we are “free from civil disturbance”; well that would leave me a liar. Civil disturbances often happen before my 1st cup of morning coffee. So how am I to find that peace that Christ speaks of? Because definition number one is ridiculous.
How about definition 2?
Peace –“ 2. Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions” Now this sounds a bit more like it. I know this feeling. I can experience this. Jesus can as He promises calm our anxious hearts and minds. We can find inner peace in Him when we rest in His presence and promises. This definition seems to stand apart from my exterior circumstances and speaks more to my heart and mind.
Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
From my vantage point life is often crazy and chaos. If we are constantly striving for quiet that we hope will lead to peace, we are striving for the wrong things. Yes we are to take time away, as Jesus showed us by his example. We need times of silent prayer and reflection. We need moments of alone time. We need quiet. But if we look at Christ, he spent much of his time surrounded by people in deep need. He spent lots of time in crowds. He walked his days with his disciples. He walked among them offering them His peace, but he also called them to take up their cross and follow Him. Based on biblical history I don’t think anyone of those people lived a quiet life.
The other day a sweet friend, meaning well, said something about my house being a place someone could experience peace. I laughed inside. If only she really new. It is SO crazy and loud in my house. I have a child who is deaf in one ear so everything is turned up. I have another with constant ear infections making it hard to hear normal volumes and therefore speaks 20 decibels higher than needed. I have two kids with sensory integration disorder…..without explaining it…..lets just say that equals constant crazy. I have meltdowns daily….maybe hourly. We have computers going, a dishwasher and washing machine that would like to take a long vacation, a dog, phones that ring all the time, an often revolving front door, 4 kids ranging from 7yrs-11 yrs old, a teenager that lives with us during the week, a baby that stays with us on the weekends, weekly therapies, doctors appointments, ministry events, homework, and on and on and on. All of that combined equals chaos at best.
Her saying that, has left me thinking. If by peace she means “quiet”, then I have nothing to offer, unless said person plans on joining me to the shower or crawling in bed with me for a few minutes before one of the kids joins us…both of which I think my hubby, Mark would have a huge problem with.
On the other hand, if by peace she means a place to feel the love of Christ, the hope of the Gospel, unconditional forgiveness, joy from our Father, and see our authentic need for Jesus (because we mess up constantly!!!) all the while experiencing the “noise of our life and home”……then I pray she is right.
I long to have the peace that surpasses all understanding and guards my heart in Christ Jesus, while enjoying the noise of my life.
Disclaimer – I do not employ an editor so please forgive typos, grammar errors, misspellings etc. I am a fast typer and often write while my kids are staring me down and waiting for my help. So proofing my blog will have to come some other far off day, unless of course you would like to take the job for free =).