Peace is very hard to hold on to these days. Psalm 34:14b tells us to “seek peace, and pursue it.”

Jeremiah 29:4-7 tells about how the Israelites could find peace, even in the midst of captivity. It says:

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. (KJV)

Here are the steps the LORD tells them, and us, to take:

  • Build homes and plan to stay.
  • Plant gardens and eat the food they produce.
  • Marry and have children.
  • Find spouses for them so you will have grandchildren.
  • Multiply and don’t dwindle away.
  • Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where you are exiled.
  • Pray for the peace of your city and surrounding area— for its welfare will determine your welfare.

**(Steps listed are taken from the NLT version)

The list is simple. The actions are harder.

It’s harder when those around you don’t understand these scriptures and follow God’s Word. When only a few are seeking peace. Instead they go their own way and think they have their own answers.

I’ve found through life experience that God’s ways are the simplest. Remember—His burdens are light. (Matthew 11:30)

This week I’ve put them into practice as I continue to work on the gardens on our land. I’ve been working at the greenhouse to make a cottage garden and make it more pleasing to the eye. It is definitely a work in progress.

My husband and I always try to be wise with what the LORD provides, so when we replaced our above ground swimming pool year-before-last, we saved the metal walls for a project.

Behind the greenhouse, attached to the side of our barn is a run down chicken lot covered in poison oak. We will eventually tear it down, but in the mean time, my husband built a frame on the front of that area and we used a piece of the metal to cover that eye sore. It will also keep our goats in the fence when we tear down the house and remove the wire.

Here are the in progress, and after pictures.

This is the beginning of the framing in process. The flower bed is in need of weeding and mulch.

Here is the completed framing that will hold the metal sidewall from the old swimming pool.

Yesterday, I helped hold the metal while my husband leveled it and begin to screw it to the old chicken lot posts and his newly added framing. While he finished that project, I weeded and spread mulch.

I have always been fascinated with landscaping where they took rock and laid it down to make it look like a stream in the landscape. I worked on implementing that beside the greenhouse, but ran out of free rock gathered from our land, so my husband ran to Lowes for some smooth stones to finish that out. I also had him get some brackets to place on the posts for the hanging baskets you see in front of the wall.

Another view of the completed garden. It took all day, but, I definitely find my peace in doing this work.

What are you doing to “pursue peace”? Please share in the comments below.