These are troubling days for sure. Major companies like DHL Express, GM and Nortel continue to announce huge layoffs. Other large companies like Circuit City filed bankruptcy this week. Major banks and industries hope to be “bailed out” by the Fed. That’s an interesting word-bailed out-as in a sinking boat? Many small businesses are watching their revenues and bottom lines decrease, and are conflicted about laying off employees who are like family members. Citizens are watching their home values and 401(k) balances nose-dive. Have I caused you to lose your inner peace yet?
Listen to Jesus! (John 14:1) “Do not let your heart be troubled . . .” Honest reaction: “Yeah, right”. Jesus made this comment, knowing He was about to be crucified . . . at His darkest hour, He was thinking about the hearts of His followers. Shortly afterwards, He said (John 14:27), “I’m leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (New Living Translation).
The world doesn’t have what you need right now-peace through a secure job or dependable paycheck; peace through enough retirement or a lavish house; peace through gated communities or a good healthcare plan. If that’s your source for serenity today, I’ll quote Dr. Phil: “How’s that working for you?” Jesus offered a different kind of peace-one found deep inside-that won’t be shaken by ever-changing events and circumstances. Lasting stillness amid the uproar only comes from the deep knowledge that without God we have nothing, and with Him, we have everything needed. Can you relinquish all the other stuff today?
Jesus said this kind of peace is a gift, so to maintain inner peace, it must be received -are you drawing on it today? Go after this peace now, which is based on a deep conviction about the purity of God’s character and justice, not in our own sense of what we deserve. Best of all, this silence, tranquility and serenity will deepen as our trust and relationship with God develops.
Two artists were asked to paint pictures to depict “peace.” One created a landscape with beautiful green hills, tall green trees and perfectly smooth water. The second one painted a very different scene, with a violent waterfall crashing over jagged chunks of rock. Beside the waterfall was a small birch tree with a tiny bird’s nest in the branches, which were overhanging the rushing water. In that nest, just as calm as it could be, lay a bird, fast asleep. May you experience-and sustain-that kind of peace today.