We’re being attacked by an angry bird and he is giving us no peace.
When my son woke up more than an hour early from his nap the other day, I knew something was up.
Then I heard it.
Something was slamming, repeatedly, into the window in my son’s room.
My two-year-old told me “I scared.”
I’d be scared too if I was awakened from a deep sleep by the sounds of attack.
I peeked outside our front door and saw our enemy, a brilliant cardinal–a bird I’d normally praise for beauty–banging his head against the glass over and over and over again.
What could I do but take pictures and a little video?
He glared at me as if I was mocking him with my phone. It was both frustrating and amusing at the time.
But now that this bird is still waking my son up two days later with his repeated assault, I have declared avian war.
I’ve trimmed back all the branches that brushed the side of our house.
I gently lifted his nest (no eggs or babies!) and moved it to another tree.
I’ve stood guard through today’s naptime and run out the front door every time our red-feathered enemy started his bombardment.
He flies onto the roof every time I run out the door, and I think he’s finally tired of running away. Maybe he’ll realize this perch isn’t worth defending and find somewhere else to nest.
After two days of war on our peace, I am happy to settle into a little quiet.
That’s what we all want, after all, a little peace.
I’m not talking about world peace and I don’t even mean just the absence of conflict.
I mean that feeling of settled rest, no more feeling on alert and on guard, the feeling that your muscles don’t need to be tense and you can sink back into a pillow without fear of attack.
In the Psalms, I read something that rings so true:
Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
I am for peace,
but when I speak, they are for war!
(Psalm 120:6-7 ESV).
Sometimes, we’re so desperate for peace and it just seems like people or even circumstances are determined to attack us.
It’s a relentless assault and sometimes it comes out of nowhere and wearies us to the bone..
You feel settled and then you are shaken.
You feel confident of the future and then there is change.
You feel content and then envy strikes.
You think everything is fine and then you read the nasty email.
Here’s what I love, though, Jesus knows the deepest and truest need of our needy hearts.
When he appeared to the disciples following his resurrection, Jesus had a clear message to share:
“Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'” (John 20:19 ESV).
“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you” (John 20:21 ESV).
“Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.‘ (John 20:26 ESV).
“Peace be with you.” If there’s anything those disciples needed in that moment, when their Messiah seemed dead and they feared they’d be killed soon also, it was peace, and Jesus knew that.
But, the most beautiful thing about this is that Jesus could have just as easily said “I AM with you” because He is our PEACE and our Prince of Peace;
He is the reason we can deeply rest and have confidence in the goodness and the ability and the mercy of our God.
Beth Moore reminds us that, while we can feel shaken and attacked,
Christ had perfect peace in ALONENESS…in PROVISION…in the STORM…in the WAIT…and in the TEARS (Living Beyond Yourself).
In any circumstances and at all times, Christ’s presence can bring us the peace we need. Yes, even for the aloneness, for the seasons of want, for the storm, for the long waiting, and for the tears.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that an angry bird might come out of nowhere and start waging war on your son’s naptime.
And it doesn’t mean that bird will magically disappear on his own.
No, I had to do battle.
But it does mean that Jesus offers to bring His peace right there into the noise and the fighting and the fear and uncertainty or whatever we face.
He assures us that He’s here.
“Peace be with you.” And He is.