As we were working on a project this week, I came across some hymns in an old hymnbook I have. Man, I had forgotten how much those songs shaped my early life and theology. As I read the titles, the tunes would instantly come back to mind, and I would begin to sing them as if I had never forgotten them. I can neither confirm nor deny if tears flowed at some point… though, if you read the blog regularly, you already know the truth.
PR31 and I were talking about the line in the song, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, that says…
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit…”
Hold that thought…
As a little league baseball team, we were not very good. In fact, it was usually a surprise if we won. So, we were particularly glad when another team didn’t show, or couldn’t field enough players to compete, and had to forfeit the game. That is, they gave up on the possibility of winning without even trying.
Forfeiting doesn’t amount to much when it comes to little league, but it matters plenty in real life. And too often, we forfeit. We give up without a fight. We forfeit winning marriages… or winning at our dreams… or winning at school… or winning in our health.
Sadly, we often forfeit our peace. We all face challenging circumstances in life, and Jesus said that, not only would He stay with us, but as the Prince of Peace, He would give us peace. Yet, when the doctor gives us a timeline… or the boss gives us a pink slip… or our critics give us a hard time… or a spouse gives us divorce papers… we forget that we have also been given God’s peace to help us navigate those challenges. We forfeit our peace. It’s ours because He gave it to us, but we give up the fight without taking one swing.
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit… Oh, what needless pain we bear… all because we do not carry… everything to God in prayer.”
Don’t give up without trying! Get in the game. Keep the peace you’ve been given, and believe you will win despite the odds. The doctors don’t get to stamp your expiration date on you. The boss doesn’t determine your value. No one can take your peace. The only way to lose it is to forfeit it.
The challenge is not too great. The victory is possible. The celebration will be boisterous. Just keep your peace!