So, the news came across yesterday with the announcement Israel had begun a ground offensive in the Gaza strip. For weeks, since the tragic murder of the three Israeli boys and the one Palestinian teenager, tensions had been escalating with missiles being fired by both sides. Then, the horrible news of the poor little boys on the beach who were killed by shrapnel from incoming rockets. One tragedy on top of another building a bigger wall of hatred and animosity. My mind was brought to the verse Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”. Jerusalem today is a mix of Jews and Arabs who live in a tenuous relationship with each other. Now, with the heightened military offensives peace seems illusive.
It was interesting I received in the mail today two copies of the magazine “Purpose” which contained an article I written for them, “Live in Peace”. The story was about my grandson who learned a basic lesson about living in peace when confronted with another child who was antagonistic and mean. God tells us to live a life of peace as much as it is possible. We look at situations around us which are unjust and people who are downright mean and we ask, “How can I live a life of peace?” Sometimes, it means we take the first step in spite of the other person’s attempts to create chaos.
A peaceful life begins with one person. I have to learn to live a peaceful life and not get upset every time someone steps on my toes or says an unkind word. I need to reach out to a person who may appear to be hateful and cruel and offer my hand of friendship. Peace is not an illusive thing but it is hard at times. God will give us the strength we need if we pray to live peaceful lives.