Holding My Peace

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. – Exodus 14:14

The human tongue, 10 centimeters long and a conglomeration of eight muscles is not the strongest part of our body but it is one of the deadliest. James 3:8 says “no one can tame the tongue, it is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.” For such a small part of our body, the tongue can inflict serious damage!

Today, was one of those days when I was tempted to unleash this weapon of mass destruction. I received a tart request that I felt was unfair, and my human nature wanted to push back, and stand up for myself. Before I could unholster my weapon, I heard a gentle whisper encouraging me to hold my peace and let the Lord fight my battles. I swallowed the venom that sat on my tongue and physically walked away.

We live in a culture that applauds the “clapback.” The world says to push back against wrongs and if you can do it with sass and snark, you get bonus points. But God has a different plan. The word tells us to “set a guard over our mouth” (Psalms 141:3). God does not reward us for the clever retort but for keeping our tongues from evil. 1 Peter 3:10 instructs us that “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.”

In heated moments, I can easily forget the end goal. I don’t want the temporary satisfaction of having bested someone with my words. I want the soothing tongue in Proverbs 15:4. I want my tongue to rejoice and body to rest in hope (Acts 2:26). So, I will follow Psalms 39:1 and “watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” I may not get high fives and finger snaps for the clapback but the rewards of holding my peace are far greater.

Snow Falls

“He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. Job 37:6

In the summer,  I would happily grab my sweet pup Belle and head out for a walk. Many days, we’d go out four or five times and would often stop and just soak in the glorious sunshine. But summer does not last, at least in Michigan. This year winter ignored the calendar and arrived in fall.

So it was on an early winter day that I reluctantly pulled on layers to take Belle for a walk. With a scowl on my face, I angrily stomped through the walk, complaining about the cold and snow. SNOW before winter, how dare it! I then noticed my sweet girl happily romping through her first snow. I had been so put out by how the weather was affecting me, I forgot it was her first winter. Her whole body seemed to dance as she explored the blanket of white.

Her joy made me stop and really notice my surroundings. Admittedly, it was beautiful. It was dusk but the snow reflected the light and everything seemed illuminated yet starry. Belle sniffed the air, and I did too. It smelled pure and fresh.

We stood for a moment watching tendrils of smoke curl up into the night air and enjoying the peaceful stillness. I understood anew Matthew 28:3, “His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.”  I was so busy complaining about my discomfort that I missed the beauty right in front of my face. It hit me that this was not the only time that discomfort had led me to miss beauty. There are times in my life where God places or allows me to be uncomfortable. Far too often, I focus on getting back to being warm and cozy and miss the beauty in the hard season.

Snow cannot fall when it is warm and God was showing me that there is joy to be found even in your least favorite season. I tucked the lesson in my heart and walked a little slower back home so that I could enjoy the moment just a little bit longer.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash