Sometimes peace feels scrambled up. This morning seems to be one of those for me. I can't always explain why some days start that way while others don't. But no matter what the day, I try usually to start the day off with some time with God. So today, in the midst of some house chaos, I prayed quickly, "Lord, give me something here." Then I did one of those random flips through the pages of the Bible looking through my underlined and starred verses. Within about a minute I came to this simple blessing at the end of Thessalonians: "May the Lord of peace himself always give you his peace no matter what happens. The Lord be with you all." (2 Thess 3:16 NLT)
Amazing. Thank you, Lord.
I started reading the 15 verses that come before this verse and the 2 that come after. Before: Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray for him and also to endure in a way of living that is faithful. Then there is this other amazingly powerful blessing: "May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ." (2 Thess 3:5 NLT)
And then there is this challenge: "Settle down and get to work." (2 Thess 3:12 NLT) It seems that some people were seeking an easier lifestyle by leeching off of fellow Christians. Don't be lazy, Paul says. Work.
Perhaps the three go together? Is it just a coincidence that Paul finishes this letter this way? Peace probably comes from being brought into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God… mixed with a long obedience in the same direction.
Today for me, then, needs to be a day of unscrambling. I don't want to leech off of God and be lazy, praying that I'll win some peace lottery. No, I need to settle down and get to work; I need to live my life responsibly and faithfully today. I also need to be growing ever deeper in the love of God; not settling for less, but settling down for more! And I need to be enduring in work and in love for God through everything I do today.
May it be so, Lord.