“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Jesus
A good friend of mine called last week to tell me she’d landed the job of her dreams after a year without work. We had a great phone call celebration! After our initial excitement calmed down she went on to reflect on those months without work. She told me that she’s actually grateful for what was one of the most stressful times of her life because it brought her closer to Christ. Those months of worry about bills, seeing her savings account drained, living without health insurance and wondering if an almost 60-year-old woman would ever be hired turned out to be months of deeply learning that Christ’s peace was greater than all her worries. Her biggest “discovery” was the Truth that Jesus has already given us his peace…that he said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Those words of Jesus turned her life around. She felt led by the Spirit to prac-tice something new: to turn towards Jesus every time she felt worry and to imme-diately thank him out-loud for the peace he already had given her. Not to ask for peace, but instead to thank him for peace already given. This became a habit and soon she noticed that worry was diminishing, and gratitude was growing. As time went on she noticed that her out-loud prayer of gratitude for peace led her to no-tice all sorts of ways God was caring and providing for her. Her gratitude for peace grew into a blooming garden full of gratitude for all kinds of things! Her trust in God increased and hope for the future grew. She knew no matter what, job or not she was never alone, never destitute. Her heart was full of peace, grati-tude and joy….and all this even before landing the job.
Now, she says she can enter into the new stress of learning about working for a new company, new products, new co-workers and a new schedule that includes lots of airline travel with her new found discovery that Christ’s peace is absolutely with her at all times, in all places, in all circumstances and that gratitude is her go to emotion.
My friend totally encouraged my heart with her experience! I needed to remember Jesus’ words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Needed to remember that we don’t have to desperately hope God gives us peace, nor do we have to beg for it. He’s already generously poured it out in our hearts and minds. It’s mine and it’s yours! So, let’s breathe it in. Rest in it. Together let’s enjoy it, share it and say thanks for it!
Alongside you, Pastor Wendy