From Heather Kaufmann
“Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it… The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” (Psalm 34:14 & 22)
“And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12:29-31)
Scripture is full of petition and promise: we are petitioned to seek not the things of this world, but rather the kingdom, to seek peace… But we are also promised refuge, deliverance, and provision. Just as faith and works cannot be separated, neither can petition and promise.
We are told: Serve God and then he will redeem; seek his kingdom and then these things will be added to you. The catch is that we will always fall short in our service and seeking. It is, therefore, in these imperfect “works” for the kingdom that we are able to recognize our need for God’s grace and so find faith in God’s redemption.
In my own life, I have known the burden of “falling short.” A few years ago, I was in a season consumed with the question, “How can I live up to God’s call to bring peace and justice into a world so broken and corrupt when I am but one, insignificant individual?” The answer, God ever-so-slowly revealed, is that I cannot. But that is not the end of the matter: we are still petitioned to seek peace, though in seeking peace we will always confront our deficiencies. That is the point at which we discover God’s grace, and in God’s grace, we find the strength, love, hope, and peace to forge just a little further down the road of faith.
The Lord has petitioned me to seek peace and so also promises to give me his peace. But it is only through the gift of his peace (and refuge, provision, deliverance, etc.) that I find myself sufficiently grounded so that I may be a light in this dark world. That is the power of Christ in me.
I am a deeply-rooted New Englander who enjoys running along the Charles, experimenting in the kitchen, and exploring the great outdoors. I work as a grant writer at a settlement house in Boston’s South End.