Originally posted at joshuastairhime.com
I, and others who have been a part of this project in the past have struggled with our own role in trying to truly become peacemakers. I have started so many posts about resolving international conflicts, advocating for a little force now to stop a disaster later, but I have never been able to finish those posts. I have spent tens of hours across the three years I’ve done this trying to reach a conclusion I can believe in, but each time I have started, I have failed, and badly. Why does this concept confuse and trouble me so much?
A dear friend sent me some Bible verses a few days ago, and I read over them several times, hoping to find some strand of truth to grab onto to anchor myself in my internal debate. Try as I might, I wasn’t connecting with those verses in a meaningful way. Or at least not in a way that felt complete and fully developed. There was still a mental connection missing for me. How could a God of peace allow such terrible things like what is going on in Syria or the South Sudan to continue? How would a peaceful God resolve an international conflict? Where do you draw the line of peace?
I sat down tonight, dreading the commencement of my now daily task, and once again couldn’t get started. I distracted myself enough to run out of internet (again) and then curled up under the covers of my bed. I drug my phone up and scrolled to the section of scripture my friend had sent days before, deciding it wouldn’t hurt to look again into the Bible for wisdom.
Romans 16:20 (a) The God of peace will crush Satan under his feet.
The God of peace will crush Satan under his feet? What kind of paradox is this? How can a peaceful God crush anything and still be considered peaceful?
After processing for a few more minutes I finally realized that I’ve forgotten who the enemy is.
The battles I keep wanting to fight are battles against flesh and blood, as if there truly are human beings who we could eliminate to set the world back into proper order.
The enemy isn’t a person, or a group of people, who can be stopped by killing them. People who do ill towards others are only a symptom of a broader problem.
“The God of peace will crush Satan under his feet.”
Meditate on that with me tonight. Tomorrow we will unpack it.