Take heart- choose peace!

Published 3:16 pm Friday, March 20, 2020

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As I have joined the rest of you in trying to comprehend the things going on in our world, perhaps the biggest chore is trying to determine what is fact and what is fiction.  As we tread through the current muddy and tumultuous waters, my mind took me back to another time of perplexity when the hurricane came through and upset our lives.  No doubt it was a different kind of disaster from the current one, but it was filled with a lot of uncertainties.  As the winds screamed and sent debris blowing against our house, I really was not sure if the structure would withstand it or not—a scene that many of you can identify with.  As conditions eroded, the grandchildren started to become overwhelmed with fear.  Addy, who was eight at the time, was struggling the most and her sobs became uncontrollable. 

What do you do in a time like that?  Papa is supposed to be able to fix anything; they have seen me do wonders with duct tape and super glue, and if it’s a really critical repair, epoxy is the wonder fix.  But neither glue nor tape could fix what was ailing us at that moment.

During the time that the storm raged, Addy was filled with fear.  She was old enough to realize that something serious was going on that could have a potentially bad outcome, but not seasoned in life enough to know how to respond.  I did not have a lot of tools in my arsenal for that occasion, but I applied what I had—I pulled her into my lap and spoke reassuring words to her and prayed with her.  In a little bit her tears eased and she seemed to be sensing peace again. 

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I did not stop the wind, for I had no ability to control the powerful forces of nature, but her peace came because she trusted me.

Earlier today I had the “privilege” of looking after Raegan while Gale went out for an hour or so.  It’s amazing how much energy is contained within a little two year old body, and she was making good use of it at my expense—running, climbing, laughing, having a ball.  I noticed the big smile on her face as she played without a worry or care in the world.  She had no clue that life as we are accustomed to has been greatly altered in a short amount of time.  As I watched and listened (and longed for my wife’s return home!), it occurred to me again that such an attitude of peace can only be enjoyed in the midst of absolute trust.  Why should she worry since her mama, daddy, and grandparents have it all under control—at least as far as she is concerned?

As children of God, we can have enduring peace even in times of uncertainty as we keep our trust in God.  We can have peace in every situation as we rest assured in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He stated in John 16:33 to His followers in a time of great uncertainty in their lives that “I have told you these things, so that in Me you might have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (New International Version). 

Chuck Swindoll wrote accurately in his commentary Insights on John where he stated:  “Despite the chaos of living in a hostile world, we may enjoy tranquility.  We choose peace when we choose to believe that Christ has overcome the world.”

We are faced with a lot of choices right now about what we do, where we go, and what we believe about what we hear regarding the current crisis.  Yet our greatest peace is still found in trusting our Lord.  As the Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote a long time ago about trusting God:  “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah26:3).  Sounds like a good choice to me!