I’ve been waiting for this coming week for a while. I sort of pick the third week of October as the official time the pre-rut starts. I think the weather either hastens that or stalls it. It looks like this year will be right on time. We’re going from morning lows in the upper fifties to lows in the upper thirties. It is going to feel like fall and deer season is as distinct as flipping a light switch. For the next three months, I will arrange my calendar around some of the most important hunting days of the year. I’ll not always be able to carry out my plans, but that won’t stop me from writing them down. And they will also give me some sense of peace knowing I won’t have to wonder what the next few months have in store. I love to plan… and make to-do lists… and check off boxes… and feel accomplishments. We all do. There is healing both in making lists and in checking them off. Making them relieves so much stress and anxiety and checking things off keeps me from feelings of failure. Both give me some inner peace. And in a world of war, peace is the goal – no matter what kind of war that is.

           It’s comforting to think that God sent Jesus for the purpose of peace. His very birth was met with a chorus of “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace.” And at his departing, he assured, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” These bookends were not the only moments peace took center stage. It would also be what God gave those who chose to be his followers. The Apostle Paul put it this way. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God.” But God also wanted us to have the peace that came from knowing he has our daily lives under his watch. Again, Paul said it this way to a Philippian Church. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Is there any doubt the lives of those who follow Jesus are supposed to radiate peace? Paul knew without a right relationship to God through Jesus it could never happen. That’s why he always greeted his readers with “Grace and peace to you.” He never put peace before grace. There can be no peace with God or others before grace. So, let me ask you. How’s your peace? It should be a common thread that runs throughout our life. It’s supposed to save us, keep us, and one day allow us to peacefully close our eyes for the last time, knowing our fight is over. 

Gary Miller