Updated: Apr 21, 2020
laughing at the shit Jesus found in the sediment of when i settled for less than what i was just to survive.
Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” Joel 3:10
I could of sworn the verse went the other way around. I could have sworn that the Lord beats our swords into plowshares. That he brings the calm, happy-go-lucky peacetime into the war that is our lives and under his perfect, just reign we all farm and sing and pitter patter along behind a perfect king.
It is him, that Jesus I have always needed. The roaring lion who comes into the chaos and storm and with his mere present certainty brings it all to a halt.
Yet, it is written that we spend most of our existence in peacetime, hands on plowshares, face to the ground. And on the surface that sounds pretty dreamy, easy even.
But that’s only if you don’t know about plowing.
This is a plowshare, circa 1st century:
As you can see, it is not a “happy, go-lucky” simple piece of equipment. Plowing, if this object is any clue, is a vicious act. It uproots the land by dragging across the ground, cutting and digging. And the land victim to this? It is fine, its surface adds to the appearance of calm. But as my good farmer friends will tell you plowing is necessary. For growth, all of that land has to go. It is this same land that the wind, the rain, the flood, the deluge of the storm has shifted. These shifts must be addressed for new things to grow.
I have known a peacetime. The wind became a whisper. The rain settled. Out of the woods, I walked with the Beloved. It was completely new, or perhaps merely forgotten territory. The moments I most remember are when I became aware of His presence so that I could exhale, put down the sword I’ve had in hand and pick up the mantel of a peaceful life. Never looking back.
What I didn’t realize was the mark of peacetime’s job is to furrow through the filth of the storm. So all of the garbage I was using to protect myself from the storm? The random dirty habits I seared together to fight with? The less than holy way I justified “making it through”?
It all shows back up. It will rear its filthy shameful smell once more. Because we are not made to stay in survival mode. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely necessary sometimes. Rely on those factory settings and bear down through the storm. But know that when the dust settles, peacetime comes and Jesus goes to work on the way the dust has settled upon you.
As my season of peacetime continues, I know now more than ever that it is not a pause. Peace is not Jesus giving me some kind of break from my life. It is Jesus moving at a different pace, taking the strange, violent-looking plow in hand to create ruts in which He can reveal Himself to me in new ways.
So in the peace I am asking:
Lord, what are you preparing me for? What are these ruts meant to reveal? What are you planting? Where are we going?