My Mama, Maggie Lou, was married in a quiet ceremony, in her parent’s home, on Christmas Eve, 1917.
The war that raged on the Western Front, in Europe—“The Great War”—The War to End All Wars,” seemed a million miles away on that joyous occasion.
Mama went to live with her beloved Ed and his bootlegging father, on a dry land farm in eastern Oklahoma.
By her eighteenth birthday, in March of 1918, Mama was already pregnant with her first child. Suddenly life, for this laughing girl, became serious. She was now responsible for another life, and she awoke each morning wondering if this was the day her young husband would be called up to serve his country and perhaps die in a faraway place.
America, under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, had remained neutral the first two and one-half years of the war. However, neutrality finally became impossible considering the increased aggression of the Nation of Germany, and our close bond with Great Britain. So America entered the fray on April 6, 1917 sending 2,000,000 American boys to the front where 50,000 of them died.
In Paris, France, on November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m. an Armistice was signed, and the war came to an end. The world was at peace!
Just after midnight, in the wee hours of November 12, while bells were still ringing, horns still blowing, and people still celebrating, Maggie gave birth to a baby boy. Beautiful Levi!
The baby that she had carried in her womb for nine months was now safe in her arms, and there was no longer any danger that Ed would have to go to war. Sweet peace brought healing to her troubled heart.
Peace is a rare and longed for commodity. It is said that there are those who would give a “King’s ransom” for one hour of genuine peace. The “War to End All Wars” was a hope never realized, for war rages somewhere in this world continually.
Many people and entities have tried to bring peace to our world. The military can’t do it. Diplomats have failed. Governments are ineffective, and The United Nations is laughable for the most part.
War does not have to be nation against nation. It is sometimes corporation against corporation or family against family, and mostly individual against individual.
Truth is, strife and discord begin at the grassroots. I’m reminded of The Hatfield and The McCoy feud—a feud that lasted almost thirty years and has had repercussions for decades.
No one is sure, but it is said that the whole thing started over the theft of a hog. However it started, it escalated to murder and mayhem, and the absence of any measure of peace.
I know individuals who hate to go home for the holidays, because of family infighting—so much for “Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men!”
There are times when outside interference lays siege to my personal peace. Last spring when I was rewarded guardianship of my sister, I heaved a sigh of relief believing that, aside from the annual reports I must file, I needed only to take good care of her. However, last week, without warning, my sister’s attorney requested that I be removed as guardian.
I am devastated. I am praying. I am crying, and just like you, I am wringing my hands, and losing sleep. Sunday evening I was with a group of friends, who prayed with me. Monday morning just as I was awakening, I saw the words, as on a plaque, “sweet peace the gift of God’s love. Opening my eyes, I thought, “That’s a song. I haven’t heard it in a hundred years, but I know that song, and the words came singing back.
When Jesus as Lord I have crowned,
My heart with His peace will abound;
In Him, the rich blessing I found,
Sweet peace the gift of God’s love.
Peace, peace, sweet peace,
Wonderful gift from above.
Wonderful, wonderful peace,
Sweet peace the Gift of God’s love.
Later in the day, I read these words from Jeremiah 20:11. “But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.”
This promise is certainly a recipe for peace.
Finally, I believe, “THE WAR TO END ALL WARS” is the war that I wage within—the war that I fight against Christ and His authority in my life. When I refuse to give Him control, I am filled with turmoil, hopelessness, and fear. When I lay down my arms and lift my hands in surrender, the Prince of Peace comes in, and His peace remains.
The world is in fighting mode—in hearts, in homes, in our streets, in legislatures, courts, and palaces. From north to south, east to west, we are at war, but in the middle of all this chaos, you can live in peace.
Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You.”
God’s peace is a gift. Give up your weapons, sign the Armistice, and fix your heart and mind on Him in exchange for perfect peace.
Your prayers are appreciated.
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!