The short story "Civil Peace" by Chinua Achebe tells of Jonathan Iwegbu, his wife, and their three children as they struggle to survive after the Nigerian Civil War. Most stories that deal with the aftermath of wars tend to be tragic. However, that is not the case with Achebe's tale, which is relentlessly optimistic. Despite everything that has happened, Jonathan sees the positive side of the situation and states, "Nothing puzzles God." In other words, God can solve any problem.
First of all, one of their children has died, but Jonathan rejoices because he still has three of them left, and also his wife. When Jonathan sees his broken down little house, he rejoices that it is still there and quickly hires a carpenter to patch it up with scraps. He manages to save his bicycle from being stolen by burying it. When he digs it up, he uses it to create a taxi service to earn money. With the money he earns from the taxi service, he buys palm wine and opens a bar. In the meantime, his children pick and sell mangoes, and his wife cooks and sells food. They all keep busy and do the best they can.
Their biggest windfall comes when Jonathan receives an award of cash for rebel money that he turns in. However, that night a violent gang of thieves comes and threatens Jonathan and his family until he gives them all of the money he received at the office. His family, of course, is terrified during the encounter with the thieves.
The morning after the thieves steal all of Jonathan's money, though, he and his family carry on as if nothing has happened. Jonathan prepares his bicycle to go get more palm wine. His wife cooks food to sell, and his son rinses out bottles to use for the bar. In other words, they do not let the theft of their money disrupt their lives. Jonathan says, "I count it as nothing," when his neighbors assemble to sympathize with him. The money was an extra gift that came to him and now it is gone, but life goes on regardless. He closes by once again saying, "Nothing puzzles God." In other words, in his opinion, God is still in control, and he can still deal with problems such as this.