Friday, January 04, 2013

"Arch Word" of the Year: Peace

From my journal, 12/31/12, which is brand new for 2013...

Each of those things [sorrows from 2012] has shaken me deeply, and while I've been tempted to say, "Where ARE you, God??" the question I've asked most frequently has been, "What are you DOING, God?" And, "OK, I know You're in this, but please show me how. Help me see." The tornadoes in my soul have gone away for now, but I'm in the process of dealing with the aftermath. 2013. Lord God, You give me an "arch word" for each year {a word that overarches the twelve calendar months}.

This year coming, I believe You've spoken the word "PEACE" to me .

...Isaiah 26:3 will be my Verse of the Year. I like it best from KJV, the way I memorized it as a girl.

Thou wilt keep
in perfect peace
whose mind is
stayed on Thee.
 NIV: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."  (emphasis mine).
How do I keep my mind stayed, fixed, steadfast on You?   By trusting you. .  Sounds so simple, almost cliche'.  But in my humanness, I have doubted You.  I've doubted Your presence, Your care, Your strength, Your power, Your love. How can that be? How?  Why? Why would I doubt that the One who knew me before the foundation of the earth, who knit me together in a secret place, who knows the number of hairs on my head, who died in my place for my sins, who forgave me and cast my sins as far as the east is from the west, who calls me His own, who gave me an inheritance with his Son, who sealed my pardon, who gives me his Holy Spirit, who is preparing my room in His mighty mansion in heaven, how and why do I doubt His love for me?  Forgive me, O Father!!
How do I seek peace? Where? In what areas can I strive for peace? Because I know it's a choice.  "Inasmuch as lieth within you, live peaceably with all men."  Romans 12:18
In my mind,  I see that verse as the hub of a wheel, with the "spokes" being verses around it.

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
  (Please note:  to "heap burning coals on [your enemy's] head" is a reference to a  very good thing, something opposite what we think in our culture.  In those days, to keep warm or to cook food, people had to use coals; by sharing burning coals, a person was helping his neighbor survive well. Heaping the coals on the head evokes the image of piling it on--giving abundantly, the equivalent of paying someone's entire heating bill for the month, I suppose.)
So...what do all the "do's and don'ts" add up to?  What  has God spoken to me in the "spokes"?
            "Do what doesn't come naturally.
Do the opposite;
            Do what comes supernaturally."
This is how to seek peace and find it. It is  altogether possible to live at peace-- with friends, with enemies, and with those whom I question "Friend or enemy? Hard to tell in this moment!"
How is it possible to "live peaceably with all men"?  It's possible because God's Spirit is within me.


Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Great post Zoanna, Reader's Digest should publish it. Great word for sure! May 2013 be YOUR year!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Praying peace and restoration for both of us as we choose His ways and His will for us! Love you, my friend!

Laurie said...

Peace. Love. Joy!