I was shocked when I heard the news and I am still in shock. Three weeks ago, on Thanksgiving Sunday I received a phone call that has still left me in pain. My very good friend of 25 years had passed away. We had just spent time together two weeks ago. It was a lovely time. The conversations we had were deep and the memories we are left with will last in my heart forever. Who would have known two weeks later that that was the last time we would have ever seen each other. Every moment counts. I am reminded to live life to the fullest and with purpose and passion.
This truth reminds me that I have a responsibility that is not dependent on anyone else or anyone else’s response.
There have been lessons that I have learned through this experience that have been confirmed over and over again. One is that the choices we make today affect us into our tomorrow. Another is that our now- the present that we have been given- is always the right time to choose to make peace. The third is that God always know what He is doing.
When my friend went into hospital at the beginning of that week, we all had expected the stay to be short. I had always said “I am praying for you” but this time, I didn’t just pray for, I prayed with. Every day I would call and leave a message on the phone with my voice praying. Every day I would receive a text after it that let me know I had helped to bring calm and peace. That my prayers were felt and ministered. I do not believe in coincidence. Although I didn’t know, God knew that my friend needed to feel God and meet with God. I believe that my prayers ushered my friend into His presence and to the knowledge that God loved him and was with him.
Since his passing, there have been family relations that need so much healing. Pain is usually a revealer of many things. Unfortunately, there have been some situations that have been left to burn that should have been put out a long time ago. The dead can’t speak and yet what has been said or what has been left unsaid has very loud voices. We need to be careful to take care of trouble before trouble is left controlling us in ways that are unhealthy and cause unnecessary and continual heartache.
While we have breath, it is never too late to make choices of peace. It does not matter how long conflict has lasted- now is always the time for peace. Romans 12:18 exhorts us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. This truth reminds me that I have a responsibility that is not dependent on anyone else or anyone else’s response. ‘As far as depends on me’ means that no matter what anyone else says or does, I can choose words and acts of peace described throughout the Romans 12 chapter. I can bless even if cursed; I can be sincere in love; I can honour others above myself; I can choose humility instead of pride; I can be joyful, share patience and be faithfully praying. I can choose to leave revenge and what I feel people deserve up to the Lord.
Can I encourage you to always chose the way of the Lord in problem solving and difficult situations. It won’t make sense to everyone. It doesn’t make sense most times to our natural inclinations and ways of being. We are not asked to make sense. We are asked to make peace. It isn’t always easy, but it is always better. While you are here and when you are gone at least peace has a better opportunity of living and changing lives. It is up to you to give peace a chance. Please choose wisely. Make a choice today that leaves a better tomorrow- for everyone.