I Leave You With...Peace
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” ~John 14:27
It’s so easy to let our hearts be troubled. This world offers no free passes. Heartache, fear, discouragement seem to loom around every corner. We can feel like we are carrying the weight of the world upon our shoulders.
These past few weeks have been…heavy. My sister-in-law had brain surgery a month ago. Typically, there is less than a 3% chance of complications. The surgeon described the surgery as “textbook”. It went as well as one could hope. We were elated…her recovery although long, would fair well.
However, two weeks ago, Lisa, started swelling, quickly. The side of her head and neck evidence of what was transpiring inside of her: infection. She was quickly taken in an ambulance to Pittsburgh where she spent almost a week in the hospital, one night in ICU. My brother waited, alone in the hospital, for the diagnosis while his two girls under the age of two were back home.
Lisa fell into the 3%.
She would need surgery again to remove the infection. The skull itself would have to be removed permanently. Infectious Disease would be called in to investigate. Definitely not the prognosis one would hope to hear. No-one wants to be in the 3%.
But I watched my brother and sister-in-law accept the news like champs. Their spirits testimony to the truth: He gives peace.
The Lord has taught me so much about His peace this past year. From the death of my grandma and cousin, to Zion’s unrelenting cough in the fall, to this new development with Lisa, the Spirit continues to breathe assurances over me. It is a peace other-worldly. It is a peace that cannot be shaken in the scariest of times.
Here are 6 things I’m learning about Peace through the Hard Days:
1) First, and foremost, it is God’s peace He gives. The Lord doesn’t promise to provide a peace. He gives His peace. “My peace I give to you.” Jesus Himself is our peace. This is a peace that the world cannot manufacture…it is other-worldly.
Take a moment to think about this peace. This is the peace that held Christ upon the cross. Max Lucado writes in Anxious For Nothing,
“The peace that kept his thoughts clear and heart pure as he hung on the cross. This was His peace. This can be your peace.”
2) Jesus left that peace for us. It is ours for the taking! If we will only receive it, we will experience the peace He leaves for us. “Peace I leave with you.”
3) What often holds us back from experiencing God’s peace is we are unwilling to take the TIME to receive it. The only way we get His peace is to steady ourselves before Him. We need to take the time to be with Him. When we seek His face day in and day out, His peace fills our hearts.
When I was at my lowest with Zion’s cough, I was on my knees in His word constantly. Grasping for His words of life, He breathed His peace into my spirit. His promises became my hope. Peace invaded this anxious-ridden heart. I took the time to receive His words, which ushered in His peace.
4) His peace is like a river. Maybe you’ve heard this song before? I used to sing it as a child, “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul…” But lately, I’ve been discovering how true these words are.
In her book Gracelaced, Ruth Chou Simons writes,
“But the peace our Father provides isn’t just a cease-fire; it is a sustaining peace ‘like a river’ (Is.66:12) that promises to overflow with help and hope. He keeps us in perfect peace because His peace-giving is active and intimate as we abide in Him, and He with us…as our minds stay on Him.”
Oh how I’ve learned this blessed truth: His peace is continual as I keep my mind on Him. Like a river it flows into ever nook and cranny of my being! The peace He provided during the long nights of roundless bouts of coughing was truly sustaining.
5) It’s not up to me! Thank-you, Jesus. No matter how hard we try, ultimately whatever it is…that thing keeping you up at night, breaking your heart in two…it is in His hands. It is not our skill but His.
We can quit striving, quit fretting, quit worrying we should be doing more. He has it in His hands. Whenever I was young, I often listened to Kay Arthur, and something she said once stuck with me. Whatever happens to you, child, it is first filtered through His hands of love.
He doesn’t give as the world does, with conditions, exceptions, and doubt. No, instead He promises, “Not as the world gives do I give to you.”
Ruth puts it beautifully,
“What assurance we can have in knowing that we’re not responsible to keep ourselves at peace through just the right combination of skill and strategy. It’s only for us to fix our minds on His trustworthiness and then act on that perspective by trusting Him.”
“He does the keeping…He keeps the peace.”
In all your wanderings, He keeps you. He keeps your husband. He keeps your children. He keeps this whole unrelenting world.
6) My heart can be unafraid because of Jesus and His peace. “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” When my heart is full of His peace, there is no room for fear. In the most difficult of circumstances we find respite in Jesus, Who is our peace. His peace crowds out the fear, anxiety, and troubles.
Thank-you, Father, that You do not give as the world gives. Your peace cannot be manufactured. It can only come from seeking Your face. We praise You that You have left us with…peace.