In THE PEACE GOD PROMISES, aptly subtitled “Closing the Gap Between What You Experience and What You Long for,” publishing industry veteran Ann Spangler comes clean about the various strategies she has used and the dreams and hopes she has entertained in an effort to achieve the peace she reads about in the Bible. Making more money, having an ideal relationship with just the right person, taking a dream vacation, finding that perfect job, figuring out how to control difficult people and circumstances, forcing herself to calm down --- nothing worked. Though peace can still elude her, Spangler’s quest to discover God’s definition of peace and God’s means of attaining it is one that others can clearly benefit from.
Spangler embarks on her quest by taking a close look at the factors that can rob us of the peace God wants us to experience, such as negative narratives and memories from childhood that people carry with them throughout their lives, our failure to remember the truly awesome things God has done in the lives of His people throughout history and today as well, our unwillingness to genuinely forgive our enemies, and our failure to truly believe in God’s promises, follow Christ, and connect with God and other people in a meaningful, lasting way.
The author then turns to the ways in which specific spiritual practices, such as a commitment to simplicity, Sabbath rest and gratitude can contribute to discovering God’s peace in our everyday lives. One entire chapter is devoted to learning to control your tongue and the ways in which our own words can serve to create discord in our homes, our churches, and all of our relationships. “Learning to create peace with our tongues is a lifelong challenge, one that few of us will ever master,” Spangler writes. “But that shouldn’t stop us from trying.”
Likewise, Spangler writes, the fact that being a peacemaker is “perhaps the most thankless, difficult task in the world” should not stop