Hunger for Love {Bringing Glory to Conflict}

“No, no no! I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna!”

“Just leave me alone. Just leave me alone. Just leave me alone…{sigh}. Don’t leave me alone! Don’t leave me alone! Don’t leave me alone!”

The lyrics of an old Bare Naked Ladies song (yes, they really are a music group, and no, they aren’t ladies…or naked); their satire on childhood indecision harmonized with my current mindset. God was enlisting me for battle, and I wanted to flee instead.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says:

All to the glory

Whatever I do.  Whatever.  That word implies everything I think, everything I say, everything I do. Even the one thing I dread – making peace with her. The thought alone withers my bones.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love peace.  I adore peace and quiet.  I dream about peaceful Sunday afternoons spent reading on the hammock.  I pray for peace that passes understanding.

I just don’t love making peace.  And, I’ve come to learn, there’s a huge disparity between making peace and merely keeping the peace.

Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. {James 3:18}

Like making bread, making peace requires a gathering of right ingredients, a kneading and shaping and molding of the dough, a setting aside and waiting for the rising.

All to the glory2

Keeping, on the other hand, implies previous possession or continued ownership. And who holds peace?  Certainly not I, or I wouldn’t have such trouble making peace.

No.  Only Christ keeps perfect Peace, for He is the Prince of Peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict, or the turning a blind eye to its presence.  Peace is the presence of God. Conflict may be warfare, but Peace is a Person.  If I bring Christ to the conflict, I certainly bring Peace.

But in all honesty, I don’t want the job.  I don’t want to scrape up the pieces of a broken relationship.  I don’t want to jump into her mixing bowl, and knead and shape and mold my responses to our conflict through the bread making. I don’t want to labor this way.  Isn’t it peaceful enough to set her aside and wait for the rising another time?

All to the glory3

Clearly, no {despite all my complaints}.

Peace is patient.  Peace is kind.  It does not envy, or boast.  Peace is not rude or self-seeking.  It is not easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrong. Peace does not seek revenge. No Peace delights in truth.  Peace always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Peace never fails. {adapted from 1 Cor 13:4}

But I am afraid of conflict.  I am afraid of war.  I don’t want to want to battle for restored relationship. My wounds from the last encounter still bleed. The scars still sunburn in the midday sun.

No. I want to dwell well within my comfort zone: unaffected, uninterested, unavailable for combat.

But this will never bring Peace to the enemy.  And it’s in the bringing that God is glorified.

All to the glory4

When I show interest in the person, and not just the point, I bring Peace.  When I address the issues and ignore annoying personalities, I bring Peace. When I dare to ask questions and refrain from hurling accusations, I bring Peace.

When I am patient, when I am kind, when I don’t envy or boast.  When I  am not rude or self-seeking. When I am not easily angered.  When I keep no record of wrong. When I do not seek revenge, but instead delight in truth.  When I protect, trust, hope, and persevere, I bring Peace.  And Peace never fails.

Dear God, please help me mount a Peace offensive. Despite the fog of war, help me to track down her heart and deliver the message of Peace.  In my every thought, every word, and every deed, may she only hear You whisper, “I.love.you.”

Might I Pray for Us?

Dear Jesus,

You are the Prince of Peace.  Your love stretched up to the heavens and down to hell.  Your arms spread as far as the east is from the west to show us True Peace.  We confess that we are reluctant to carry our own cross.  We are reluctant to be used for the glory of the Lord if it requires hardship, or selflessness,  or pain.  Thank you that you endured the cross despite its shame.  Thank you that your arms stretched wide to receive my judgement.  Thank you for letting your every thought, every word, and every deed whisper, “I.love.you.” Help us to do the same.

Amen

Notes of Encouragement

Words of Affirmation:

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa

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One thought on “Hunger for Love {Bringing Glory to Conflict}

  1. Praying for you on this journey to seek, bring, make peace. Praying God will give you courage to be obedient to his call and no matter what happens that you will reside in his Trust knowing He holds and protects your heart. He will make you Stronger. Praying for wisdom in Gods timing. God will be glorified in your faithfulness. Keep desiring what He desires. It is so hard but worth the journey and within the journey resides HOPE!

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