The first time I heard someone say, ďI just want to keep the peaceĒ, it sounded noble. But, in time, I changed my mind. It happened like this.
When I met Kim, she was 15. There was no mistaking that she was a troubled teenager. She told me horror stories about her family life when she was growing up. She spoke of fights, fear, anger, feeling alone; parents that were drunk and uncaring.
Kim had been adopted by her stepdad when she was just a toddler. She never knew her birth father but always hoped she would find him. When she was 18, it happened, only he found her. They were overjoyed. Her dad made arrangements for her to meet her grandparents. Her grandfather was a pastor, and had prayed to find Kim again, before he died. Tears rolled down his face as he hugged Kim.
He told how the family had fought to see Kim when she was a baby.
ďWe didnít want to let Kim go. But, everytime we tried to see her, there was a great, big fight. Finally, we thought, it would be better to just keep the peace?Ē
Keep the peace? I thought of the horrible, ungodly circumstances that Kim had described. I was very troubled. His words didnít sound so noble to me.
But, I still didnít understand. I continued on with my lifeís lessons.
My friend, Imogene and her family were planning a trip to Arkansas to be with her in-laws. Her mother-in-law, Edna, had a hard life, being the only Christian witness in her family. The sad thing was, not one of her grown children was even going to church.
Imogene had been anxious to have Christian fellowship with her, but when she returned from her trip, she told me she was disappointed.
ďI couldnít understand it, Ruth. When Sunday morning came, I asked Edna why she wasnít getting ready for church?Ē
ďIt always makes Grandpa so mad when I go. So, I just gave up on it a long time ago. After all, isnít it better to just keep the peace?Ē
Again, something didnít seem right. Lord, help me understand.
The Lord brought a young woman into my life. Kay had given up a child for adoption, years ago; but, she had never gotten over the grief. She told me in great detail of the horrible pain she suffered when her mother forced her to give the child up. She told how the baby was crying when the nurse took her from her arms. Kay insisted that she could still hear the babyís cry, and how it haunted her. Daily and nightly, she wondered where her baby was, and if he was still alive.
Her story was so sad, so traumatic, that all I could do was listen. I wanted to tell her of Godís love and power to heal; but, I felt it would insult her if I did anything but love and comfort her.
Walking back to my house, I started praying, pouring out my frustration. It wasnít long before the Lord spoke to me.
ďIf you donít have the courage to take a stand, and speak the truth, there is nothing for me to bless.Ē
Ouch! Godís words opened my eyes. I didnít want to confront the devilís lies and his stronghold, because I was afraid of hurting Kayís feelings. It was true. I wanted peace. I wanted peace at any price.
There was a spiritual battle awaiting me. I gently, but firmly, began to speak of Godís love and forgiveness. Kay told me that she didnít believe there was a God.
ďEven if He did exist, I wouldnít want to serve someone that would allow so much pain and hurt in my life.Ē Tears welled up in her eyes.
But we serve a merciful God. Drops of love and mercy, began to crumble the wall of bitterness and anger. The glorious day came, when Kay called me and asked me to pray with her. Her life was never the same.
And, I finally understood. You canít have peace at any price. You canít lay down and let evil win, in the name of peace. I understood that both Kimís grandfather, and Imogeneís mother-in-law didnít fight for true peace. When Godís word, his love is lifted up, light will dispel the darkness. Good will overcome evil. Peace shall prevail.
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