When my younger daughter was thirteen, she happily ate a variety of foods. Cheese, bologna, tortillas, stir-fry, broccoli, chicken, rice, salami, shrimp, pickles, peppers—you name it, and she ate it. But she drew the line when it came to spinach, scrunching up her face and looking for an opportunity to dump it into the disposal when she thought I wasn’t looking. Then one night she decided to spice up this odious vegetable with a little hot sauce. The combination was so successful that she surprised me by asking for seconds!
Why am I telling you about my daughter’s conversion to spinach? Only because it illustrates the power of persistence. It took repeated tries for Luci to discover the breakthrough that would make eating spinach delightful. It can be like that in our search for peace. We have to keep persevering, especially when it comes to turning away from our natural desires and staying faithful to the teachings of Christ. Jesus says:
“If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.” (Luke 6:29)
“Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:44)
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
“Don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’” (Matthew 6:31)
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” (Matthew 21:21)
When it comes to God’s peace, Jesus asks so much, but he also delivers so much. Let’s continue to follow him, trusting that as we do, he will work even deeper levels of shalom into our lives.