Unbenounced to them specifically, my husband and I have been praying for a couple of people in our extended family. Not only that, but we have asked a few times that our Small Group at church also pray. After all, prayer is a powerful thing and can heal any situation. The reason I'm even bringing this up is because it's been on my mind, plus our pastor reaffirmed everything that I was feeling at Sunday's church message.
In the words of our pastor, you cannot have peace without God. It's just not possible. However, with trust and commitment to the Lord, peace (aka unity) can be reached. This excites me and reminds me, yet again, how powerful God is.
And let me also say that I am not seeking unity/peace for myself. Because as an imperfect human, I have many flaws - one of which is holding onto the anger when people have wronged me. Rather, I am seeking unity/peace because it's the right thing to do, and because I know that it's what God wants. Hence, Matthew 5: 23-24.
"Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
Thankfully, there is an easy process that you (and of course I) can follow when seeking peace. Whether it's seeking peace among people... seeking peace among an illness in your body... or seeking peace among a trial that you're going through. It goes like this:
P = Proactive (Make the first move)
E = Empathy (Put yourself in their shoes)
A= Approachable (A gentle answer turns away wrath - Proverbs 15:1)
C= Cooperative (Do everything that you can do)
E= Enlarge (Be the bigger person)
When our pastor spoke about cooperation, I looked at hubby and said, "that's your favorite word, isn't it?" He smiled. My hubby, more than anyone else I know, firmly believes in cooperation. But even people like my husband have conflicts in their life that they can't control. The key to this whole thing: do what you can do; at least you can come to God with a heart knowing that you tried.
Also, oddly enough on two separate occasions this weekend, I heard the phrase: The most mature person will make the first move. I totally believe that. That's because it clearly shows that you're setting your pride aside, and willing to abide by the law that God commands.