April 23

Written by Bill Grandi on April 24th, 2024

A fragile (and temporary) peace.

I read recently that on December 30, 1862 the Civil War raged. Union and Confederate troops camped 700 yards apart on opposing sides of Tennessee’s Stones River. As they warmed themselves around campfires, Union soldiers picked up their fiddles and harmonicas and began playing “Yankee Doodle.” In reply, the Confederate soldiers offered “Dixie.” Remarkably, both sides joined for a finale, playing “Home Sweet Home” in unison. Sworn enemies shared music in the dark night, glimmers of an unimaginable peace (Sort of like me playing my rock music and someone else playing country and both of us tolerating the other’s choice). 🙂 The melodic truce was short lived, however. The next morning, they set down their fiddles and picked up their rifles and when it was all said and done 24,645 soldiers died.

Reminds me of the WWII story of the German and British soldiers celebrating Christmas by laying down their weapons, sharing what they had, playing soccer together, exchanging laughs, and acting (and maybe wishing?) like the war was over. You can hear the story in this video.

Peace is fragile, as well as temporary. Try as we may, man will never be able to bring about true or permanent peace. All our treaties. All our papers. All our promises are, in reality, fragile and temporary. Treaties are made to be cast aside. Papers are torn up or burned in rebellion.  Promises are broken. We see it in school/childhood friends. We see it in marriages. We see it in communities. We see it in countries. And yes, we see it in churches.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but true, lasting peace is never found in man’s or men’s promises. And while it may last for a short period, it will never last for long. And certainly not forever. The only personal lasting peace is found in Christ, and the only true peace will be found in God’s new kingdom when Jesus returns and establishes it.

Until then…all efforts of peace are fragile and temporary. But we can still try. It begins with us! As the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Interesting thoughts this morning. People in the midst of war acting as if there is something more, something worth living for… Even if for just a short time. Like there is a better future that awaits us. Like this life is not the best there is. Hmmm.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      And I happen to be one who believes there is something more and this life is not the best life. Hmmm sounds like I might disagree with a certain author’s thoughts.

  2. You are so right, Bill. True peace is only found in Jesus. Yes, we can have our attempts to achieve it, but all will fail in the end when God isn’t the source of that peace.

  3. gail says:

    You are right Bill. My father lived with shrapnel in his back his whole life from a bomb that exploded while he was in the battle field in Korea. He told me, anybody who votes for a war never fought in one, or else they would find a more peaceful solution. He worked his entire life with that reminder. We all want peace, but we want the other side to be in submission to us for that peace. Thank you Father for the true peace You provide. Help me to give that peace to others, and to always have my sandals of peace on ready to provide a calm voice of peace as You guide me.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I can see why your dad would say that Gail. And thank you for the prayer. We need to have those sandals of peace.

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