Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
TITLE: Peace At Any Price
By Ruth Sargent
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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.
“We didn’t 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?”
Keep the peace? I thought of the horrible, ungodly circumstances that Kim had described. I was very troubled. His words didn’t sound so noble to me.
But, I still didn’t understand. I continued on with my life’s 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.
“I couldn’t understand it, Ruth. When Sunday morning came, I asked Edna why she wasn’t getting ready for church?”
“It always makes Grandpa so mad when I go. So, I just gave up on it a long time ago. After all, isn’t it better to just keep the peace?”
Again, something didn’t 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 baby’s 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 God’s 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 wasn’t long before the Lord spoke to me.
“If you don’t have the courage to take a stand, and speak the truth, there is nothing for me to bless.”
Ouch! God’s words opened my eyes. I didn’t want to confront the devil’s lies and his stronghold, because I was afraid of hurting Kay’s 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 God’s love and forgiveness. Kay told me that she didn’t believe there was a God.
“Even if He did exist, I wouldn’t want to serve someone that would allow so much pain and hurt in my life.” 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 can’t have peace at any price. You can’t lay down and let evil win, in the name of peace. I understood that both Kim’s grandfather, and Imogene’s mother-in-law didn’t fight for true peace. When God’s word, his love is lifted up, light will dispel the darkness. Good will overcome evil. Peace shall prevail.
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