I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Do You Have Peace?

Remember in the old western movies and books when the man good with a gun comes to save a town against evil men?
The gunslinger cleans the town of its bad men, after all he’s good with his gun.
But when he does, the townspeople tell him now to leave.
The evil is gone.
The skill they admired before when they were desperate for help is now the same skill they fear will be turned on them. After all, he’s killed people.
They want peace.
The same man who was praised and applauded when he entered their town is now considered evil because he has blood on his hands.
By upholding what is right, good, just, and pure—protecting their families, he has become the criminal. (After all, they didn’t kill anyone, did they?)

In the Lord of the Rings, Frodo’s Shire never realized what Frodo did to save them. He was only considered odd and eccentric. He never felt part of them again. He was an outsider, even with family.
Fighting for what is good changed Frodo. He knew evil’s power, was tempted by it, but persevered at great cost to himself.
He would never take peace for granted. 

Same with the Western gunslinger who cleaned the town of evil. There was a thin line between using his gun for good or evil. But he had proven worthy and chosen what was right.
The townspeople didn’t want him to challenge them. And destroy their peace.
But with his departure, they forget one thing—evil never stays where it is.
Evil grows.
And when it does, it’s too late to get good with a gun and do right. 
The townspeople will find out too late that peace doesn’t come without a price. 
And their peace is lost.

So it is with Christians.
Christians established America, a land of peace.
America is one of the few countries not overrun with civil wars after elections. (Although lately, you might wonder about some who cannot accept defeat.) 
Our godly founding fathers listened to God, knew what was right, but also knew the dangers of evil. They understood people and their temptation to control things. They set up a system to protect truth and justice.
That is why America has peace. America was established by God by “truth with justice for all.”
Truth cannot coexist with evil. Truth throws light on evil.
In fact, Hebrews 4:12 describes the truth of God's Word as "quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

 There is no compromising with evil.

Now in our peace, the townspeople approach Christians, who by their light and truth, enable those very townspeople to live in peace. They expect Christians to “tolerate others.”
By “tolerating others,” we forsake the truth that gave us peace.
Without truth, man won’t recognize their Creator.
When we are at odds with our Creator, there can be no peace.
By sacrificing truth, we destroy peace.

Men love darkness better than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19).
The evil sucks us into its bondage.

When Christians stand for truth, they become the gun-slinger with “blood on our hands.”
Do we leave town at the townsmen’s threat?
Do we put down our arms so all may have "peace”?

Where is your peace?
Are you searching for truth?
Find it at its source, the Creator Who is truth.
By submitting to the Creator, peace is found.
Maybe you already know truth and have peace. 
Do you battle for that truth? Discerning what you hear against truth?
Or do you write what that teacher wants for those papers so you can get a good grade and not hurt your GPA? Do you correct her lies?... even your own?

Peace is not promised to those who wish for it.
Peace comes when we submit to God as supreme and do what He desires.

Sometimes peace comes to a nation, like America, because of the godly principles that has sustained the workings of peace.
But even without a peaceful country, peace is found in the hearts of men who submit to their Creator, in spite of the turmoil whirling around them.
They weren’t peaceful times when Stephen, the first martyr of the church, died. He knew the truth of his position with his Creator. He died in peace.
It is earned by the road of submission to God.

If you were that Western gunslinger, would you stand for truth because of the townspeople’s praise? They will betray you.
Do you stand for truth for its own sake? Then you are alone.
Would you leave for the sake of “peace”? Then you dissert truth.
Or do you stand for truth because that’s where God has put you?
Then you will never be alone. And you will have peace, in spite of what evil surrounds you.

I close with a poem by Josiah Gilbert Holland

GOD, give us men! 
A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will; 
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking! 
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking; 
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps. 

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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