Being brand new to Jesus, and the Bible He comes with me, means each and every dive into those pages almost always shares something brand new. I wanted to say “reveals” but revelation suggestions deep investigation. Let’s not get carried away: each verse, each chapter, each book, it’s all for the first-time-interesting. I’m literally smacking the page with a “will you get a load of this? Amazing!” We’ll call a spade a spade; this is not scholarly study.
So stumbling across this bit of scripture during an online bible study in an online Bible study was a jaw dropper.
The Lord my God has now given me rest on every side; there is no enemy or crisis.1 Kings 5:4, CSB
I set the good book down, and immediately shot that message to a friend, a woman who has not one but two different surgeries set up for her two different sons in two weeks time. That’s how that played out. The littlest had surgery scheduled some time ago; the oldest now needs surgery due to a sports injury. His appointment got set the same day as his little brother. How much say-so do the parents have in this situation, as they navigate getting both their boys to two different surgeries, while also seeing to those two daughters they have? Zero. That’s how much. They have zero say-so in this scheduling.
Back to that 1 Kings. In my text, I hoped to convey, “This. For you. And for me. This is straight from the mouth of someone who GOD was talking to. Let’s not treat that like nothing. Let’s hold onto it.”
It’s been a season of crisis for her. It’s been a season of enemies for me. Neither of us could have anticipated the duration. I think we’ve each grown used to living in a defensive posture.
This reminded me of a friend who’s walked through her own rough patch. When our kids were little, my dear friend, Heather, lived in crisis around her son’s health. Think, I dunno, years. He had horrendous allergies to many, many foods. It sounds benign to diagnosis it: allergies.
Except how do you send a 3 year old to preschool, knowing it only takes one case of a peanut butter sandwich and the poor hygiene habits of a fellow toddler to send your child into anaphylactic shock?
It took a couple of years to sort out all the issues. After that it was the simple and exhausting task, of learning to limit and control his food, to cook almost entirely at home, to bring meals for him with her when they went out, and to monitor how he did with the ‘healthy’ foods, a list that constantly changed depending on how his little body could process it. “It was insane,” she’s told me since, able to laugh a little now. “I’d think ‘if only we could order a pizza!'”
That’s close to the sum-total of life so often: if only we could order a pizza.
The comfort and ease of pizza. Delicious, hot, affordable food delivered right to your door. I hear her laugh over it, and I hear the struggle too, of this one simple, silly comfort being denied to her family.
Most of us aren’t asking for crisis; most of us aren’t asking for an enemy. Yet they come. And we cope.
Solomon knew enemies, and he knew unrest. I love that he acknowledges this state of peace. I love that he takes time to see this time as special because it isn’t fraught with struggle and difficulty.
For times of struggle, it’s an encouragement, isn’t it? If we are in the thick of crisis or enemies, remember: there will be a time when this is no longer the case.
For times of peace, acknowledge it: there is rest right now.
The gift of peace. The gift of pizza. It’s not small, these times of mundanity and simplicity. It’s worth praying for when it’s not here. And it’s so worth recognizing and praising, as Solomon did, when it is here. There’s peace and pizza, Lord! You are so good. I’m holding up this promise for my friend and myself tonight. If you need it, I hope you do too.
What has peace time looked like for you? Please comment below, and share a story!