Two weeks ago I was overcome with fear.
Fear of the future. Fear of inadequacy. Fear of… well, lots of things.
So much fear that I broke down, sobbing, for 30 minutes on a school night.
Let’s just say that my eyes were a tad puffy the next day.
Whether they were attacks from Satan or fears that I’d never addressed, something was up. But guys, I’m pastor’s kid. I don’t deal with fear. Ha, good one Eleanor.
Last Sunday rolled around, and there I was sitting in the pew, listening to Dad preach on the John 20 passage where Jesus walks in to the room full of fearful disciples and says “Peace be with you.”
The “peace plan,” as Dad described it and the Bible outlined it, is:
• don’t be anxious;
• bring your requests to God
• guard your hearts and minds
Basically, that’s Philippians 4:6,7.
It was a great sermon. But God obviously wanted to impress it on my heart a little more.
The next morning on my run (don’t get too excited–it wasn’t that far) I was listening to a John Piper sermon about peace. How ironic, I thought. As I was starting my quiet time, I decided to flip to John 20 and noticed that it was the same passage that Piper spoke on.
Um, HELLO, this is cool.
I began to dissect the passage, reading a short commentary, and made the following observations:
• Jesus stood among the fearful disciples–he stands near me. He’s on my side.
• He said “peace be with you.” He speaks life into my weary soul.
• He knew their doubts, their needs. He ministers to my doubting heart.
• He showed the disciples his scars so that they would know that he wasn’t a ghost. “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33)
• He spoke to them gently. He knows my heart and is so kind.
Fast forward to last Wednesday and today’s sermon (Sunday, Nov. 5).
Guess what they were both about? You got it–purity! Just kidding. They were about PEACE.
Friends, Jesus is the comforter of my soul. I need His strength more than ever. I need His hope more than ever. I need God-confidence. I have to trust Him more than ever. The Lord is teaching me that HE IS the PEACE to my storm-tossed soul. We neither have the power nor knowledge to control the future–so release it with open hands to the One who does.