Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Falling "Peaces"

It started weeks ago with the sound of a single chainsaw at a relative distance from our backyard. In the midst of pressure, our home has offered us a "haven" where we can retreat to a setting that is very private, sheltered, and peaceful. The back of our house is covered by windows that framed a view of serenity, often enjoyed by friends and treasured by our family. Until the chainsaws came. At first, we felt a sense of shock and offense at the indiscriminate cutting. Discussions were had among neighbors and appeals were made to the new owners who had no long-term interest in the peace they dismantled. Ordinances were explained and promises were made ... not to abide by the guidelines, but to appease the offended. They mocked us. The saws continued, and the ugly red tractor dragged out the splinters and aged, thick hardwood bodies, spewing out smoke and noise as it declared, "We don't care who we offend or hurt or if we keep our word. We feast on destruction."

Little by little, with the sound of the saws, gaping holes were pierced in the leaf wall, and ugly scenes of brown dirt and roadways began to stare back at us, where a tapestry of forest once was. The tractor came closer and closer, and the sound of the falling timbers became louder and louder, and we cringed as we felt exposed and helpless to stop the attack. The serenity was cut, fallen, and dragged away, making the remaining beams within our fence all the more precious in their scarcity. This morning I was gone to the church, when Jeff stopped by to tell me that the last big tree, the sentinel just outside our fence, had been conquered and was no more.

In the last weeks I've often thought about how I would "blog this." What can I say? My heart has not had any warm and fuzzy thoughts about the whole incident. Our whole family has grieved it. Then again, aren't they just trees? It isn't really "the trees," but it's the attack on our peace that we've grieved.

A friend reminded me that "Peace is not a place," as you can read about here (who wrote that stuff? :) ). But it's been the daily sound of approaching attacks, knowing we can not do anything to stop it. I have been challenged about my heart attitude, my words, my actions ... I haven't felt very "pretty." I wanted to go tell that man that ... Well, it isn't important. :) I've asked the Lord to help me learn from it.

I wished God would let me learn from it as I felt sympathy for someone else as their trees were cut down in the back of their haven, not mine. :) No, He chose our trees and our haven. Why?

It's true. Peace is NOT a place. We can experience some peace while on earth, but the Prince of the Earth, the Enemy Satan, is always attacking our peace. His sounds may seem distant at times, but he is always in the process of moving in with his agenda to attack and discourage and create vulnerable places. He targets the beautiful pieces of life and punches holes in them, leaving the gaping ugliness of a sinful world for us to look at. He tries to overwhelm us with a feeling of helplessness, stirring up our "ugly" side as we feel the sting of his offensive attacks. Our "peace" falls under his attacks that may take the form of evil actions, hardships, mistakes, oppression, or even chainsaws.

As the tractor growls ever louder in my haven, I am reminded that this will happen more and more in the world as the last days draw near; Satan will cut down all remaining peace. He will mock those who appeal for a respite or for honor or for restraint. He will boldly move ahead with smoking destruction, but Romans 16:19,20 promises it won't be forever. There will be a day when the Destroyers are destroyed. Until then, peace can't be a place ... here.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ," Philippians 3:20.

There is a place of peace, and I am a citizen of that place. That's my home, and I am eager to be there. Do you ever feel like the sin of the world or the evil people of the world are just pressing in on you, robbing you of any peace, harassing and hurting you? Do you ever get tired "doing battle" in the world? I do, and I will, and my children will. Of that I can be sure, but I can also be encouraged that Jesus has ultimately overcome evil. Woohoo! There will be a day when true PEACE reigns without any fear of it being cut down, fallen, and dragged away.

If you are in one of life's hard places, you might check out a series my friend Kristi is starting over on her blog here. She's considering Ecclesiastes and what God says about when life is "hard."

Another tree just fell ... a reminder this is not my home, and there IS a real place of peace! Are you eager? Oh, I am! Tell me if I'm the only one feeling like the world is sometimes just full of people bent on destruction. I'm looking "long" to the peace that is to come!

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

noreen said...

Two years some trees behind our house were cut down to make a dirt road. The plan was to add apartments, the economy put an end to that. When it does go through I miss all those trees. We do have a small section, about 50 feet past our fence, that we own so those trees will be spared. I know how you feel. I suggest adding some new trees on the edge of your property, over time they will block out some of the harsh world and add some peace.

Shirley said...

They try to justify it by calling it 'progress'. Yeah, right! There's just no respect for the land anymore. We went to a national park a few weeks back, and it was appalling to see the graffiti on old homesteads that had survived over 200 years of snows and hail and winds and such only to fall to graffiti! No, there's no peace here. No peace here. Maybe little snippets here and there and that by the mercy and grace of God.

Marge said...

We were studying authority in my Bible study last week. I'm sure I knew this before, but I was struck with it again: The Lord not only gives authority, but also takes it away. We see an example of this with Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. It's comforting to know that when the Lord has had enough, when he is through with the ones who are misusing their authority, he will remove their authority from them.

Sherry said...

There definitely isn't any true peace without God. :( The things of this world can't bring it. Just need to follow God and His plan for my life.