July 5, 2017

Susie Walden

I want to take a moment today to rewind to verse 14 in Chapter 2, specifically the first 8 words…. “For Christ himself is our way of peace.”

Ephesians 2:14Living Bible (TLB)
14 For Christ himself is our way of peace. He has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one family,[a] breaking down the wall of contempt that used to separate us.

Andy and I decided to watch a movie really loud last night, to try to help our Goldens make it through the fireworks popping everywhere. There is something about the sounds and smells of fireworks that raises their anxiety to such high levels. We went to fireworks in Spotsy on Saturday night so we could be home with them last night. Because, you see, our presence brings them peace. It is interesting how just our hand on their back can calm them or settle them, and allow them to rest and even sleep. I think it’s because they trust us to take care of them more than the sounds and smells scaring them outside. And that is a great lead-in to today’s look at how Christ is our peace.

For me, some mornings everything seems to go wrong, or at least less than ideal. In my morning experience, it is usually spills, losing things like keys, or my phone(do you know how many times I use that amazing “find my iPhone” app each and every week?!?!?) or my purse and then getting in the car and realizing I need gas immediately, and of course, I am running late for work. And then I realize I left my laptop in the house so I have to go back home to get it. Do you ever have days like that? Little things seem like big things and the stress adds up to a less than great start to the day. Mondays seem to be the day when things like this go awry in my world. How about you?

Yet all these little things that do not go exactly right add up to a much needed reminder for my heart. My identity isn’t placed in what I lose, what I wear, how I feel, or whether I make a mistake (or 2 or 3!). When I place my identity in these things, my day becomes about me, and not about Christ. I put myself down and end up being unproductive and stalled for that moment, and sometimes even longer.

But when I put my identity in Christ, and remind myself that He is my peace, He picks me back up and gets me back on course for the day. For in Christ we have a purpose, “…so that we, who were first to set our hope on Christ, might be to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12). This purpose is not our own, it does not change as the days go by, and it is not about Susie. In Christ, we live for His praise and not our own – and with that, we find peace, for “He is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). Reading through Ephesians, I get a clear reminder that I am firmly set in God, and that I was one of his brilliant ideas. Even on a Monday. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10.

In God, we have power because He has grace. We have wisdom because He has mercy. We have life because He has love.

My challenge to you is to read through Ephesians, realign yourself with God’s love and purpose fulfilled through you, and to embrace today as His day.

Just as Paul began his letter to The Ephesians with “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” I say go out and greet your world with grace and peace. Because He is our peace. So, be Christ in this world.

Prayer. Dear Lord, help me on the days when everything goes wrong and Peace is nowhere to be found, remind me gently that you are my peace, and that everything in my Day filters through your hands. Let me trust you more with my “stuff.” Remind me as well that You are greater than anything I face in any day. Amen.