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Peace I Leave With You

Peace I Leave With You

A friend and I were texting today about how our mornings had not started well. She had lost her keys and subsequently missed both a dentist appointment and a work meeting. I had placed an important form in a “safe place” and then could not remember where I put it. The longer my friend and I kept looking for these items, the more flustered and upset we became.

As time dragged on, my friend’s worries grew. What if she did not find her keys? Had she thrown them away by accident? Getting a replacement key fob is not easy nor cheap. My concerns mounted as well. While requesting a new form would not set me back in money, it sure would set me back in time. I just knew I would have to call customer service and be passed from person to person to request what was needed. I dreaded the hassle it would be. Instead of stopping a moment to collect the proper perspective—and most importantly, pray about it—we both swirled through our homes like raging storms.

Thankfully, I am happy to report that we both found our missing items. My friend’s keys were in a closet on the top shelf. She had looked in that closet but in a raincoat pocket. She never thought to look up at the shelf. I had misfiled my form, and in my agitation and haste, must have flipped right on past it while looking. I was relieved but not proud at how easily I lost my cool. And if I am honest, this is not an isolated case. How many times have I let minor inconveniences and agitations rob me of my peace? Yes, today we misplaced important items. Tomorrow it may be traffic. We may spill something the next day and make a huge sticky mess. Sometimes, our peace is jeopardized not by something that happens but by worries and negative thoughts.

There are many verses in Scripture where peace is mentioned, but one of the most studied and quoted is John 14:27. In this verse, Jesus is preparing His disciples for the fact He will be leaving them soon. He says,

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

There are three sentences in this verse. Each one is packed with importance.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.”

Various Bible scholars point out that “peace” was often used as both a greeting and a parting sentiment. We find examples throughout Scripture of its use, specifically after the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:19-26). However, the way Jesus emphasizes peace in this verse by using the word “My” makes peace seem more than just a mood or feeling but an actual gift or possession. Peace is valuable, and Jesus wants nothing more than to give it to His disciples. This type of peace – a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) — is only possible in the giving of Himself. He knows they will need this level of peace for what lies ahead, both His crucifixion and the start of the Church where most of them will be martyred.

“I do not give to you as the world gives.”

Thinking back to my harried morning, one could argue that a better organizational system could have prevented my situation. Yes, organization is a great thing, but all the planners and filing systems in the world will not deter humans from misplacing things from time to time. Human error is a reality and trusting our peace to things of the world (even though I do love my day planner) is simply an illusion. Life happens. What matters is how we react. That is why our peace should not be dependent on everything going right. It will not happen.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

When I read this sentence, I tend to focus a lot on the last part where He says, “do not be afraid.” Fear is crippling, so it is comforting to know His peace is available for those moments in life that bring us to our knees – the loss of a loved one, serious illness, and more.

While we know from Scripture that Jesus cared very much about the hurting people He met in His earthly ministry, His peace is more encompassing than just for serious seasons of life. He wants His followers to claim His peace every day. Notice in the first part of the sentence He says, “do not let your hearts be troubled.” That does not mean we will not have frustrations – they are just a part of life. But accepting Jesus’ gift of peace means we will look to Him in both the big and small situations. After all, He cares for our every need (1 Peter 5.6-7).

Are you feeling unsettled today? Could you benefit from a fresh infusion of God’s peace in both big and small concerns? Take a few minutes to talk to God about both the troubles and the fears you are facing. After prayer, take some time for yourself. Many people find the rhythmic motion in coloring to have a calming effect. You can color today’s Scripture from Peace Be with You: An Inspirational Coloring Book for Stress Relief and Creativity. Share your finished creation on social media with the hashtag #coloringfaith.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Mandy Wilson.

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Your Turn

Do not let your heart be troubled. God is with you no matter what is going on in your life today. He’s here to calm your nerves and settle your heart. He’s here if you’re afraid. He’s with you. Share your coloring pages with us using the hashtag #coloringfaith! We want to see them! ~ Devotionals Daily