Peace I leave with you. John 14:27a NIV
Perhaps my friend nailed it recently when she determined the reason pressure never seems to let up is that we live in an impatient world.
In just a few decades we've gone from looking through a catalog and paying 'shipping and handling' to scrolling through too many choices and it arrives tomorrow. Everything is transmitted electronically in seconds. We've gone from 9-5 to 24/7.
Expectations of instantaneous everything are set - including no time to think about what we want to say or how to say it. All this impatience manifests in short tempers, unrealistic expectations, and burn out. And our soul-longing for peace is greater than ever. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you." (John 14:27a NIV)
If that is true, how is it we can't seem to find peace anywhere? Maybe we're looking in the wrong places. Jesus didn't say, you'll never have any worries again. Or you'll have plenty of money in your bank account always. Or you'll never get sick. Even if we had all those things, there would be other concerns, heartaches.
Jesus went on to say, "I do not give to you as the world gives." (John 14:27b NIV) There's the heart of the matter. How does the world give - anything? With conditions. And often gives only temporarily. So, when does Jesus give us His peace? The moment we accept Him as Lord. And it has no conditions and it's forever.
We have just a tiny role in all this - our attitude. Jesus finishes the verse "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27c NIV) If peace escapes us, it isn't because He has removed His. It's because we are letting our hearts and minds run ahead of us. We're letting fear run the show.
Oh, so easy to say, a little harder not to get sucked into. Yet the very things that help us realize His peace are the ones we often overlook or don't make time for. The peace that falls when falling in bed with prayer and praise on our lips. The peace that lifts up when we acknowledge God is bigger than our seemingly impossible situation.
Peace that says: 'this world, this stuff - this isn't all there is. Someday is closer than you think - so do not worry and fret. Seek the peace I have left with you. Peace like only I can give.'
Father, we live in a world where peace is almost a foreign word. But in reading Your Word we find the peace that passes understanding and we can rely on You to see us through whatever our days may hold. Thank You for being our Peace in all the uncertainties. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.