Peace Like a River

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 

When Jesus told me that He wanted to write His name across my heart, it was a powerful moment.  It was a moment that changed my life forever.  You see, I had come to believe that there must be a God but holy moly, how could this Christ dude ever be arrogant enough to say that He was the only way to get to God.   It made no sense to me, whatsoever, that only Christians made it to heaven and everyone else didn’t.  The concept was revolting to me.   It felt mean and snobby.

But there I was, in the middle of the night, sitting in my recliner, realizing that my world was completely falling apart.  I was sick, I couldn’t take care of my own small children, my relationship with my husband was well on the way out the door, my “oh so superior” intelligence (cue the rolling eyes) that had been the foundation of my self-worth for the entirety of my life, was now shot, overtaken by this stinking unknown viral infection in my brain.   I could barely remember my own name, never mind every detail of what you said or what you were wearing when we had that conversation three years ago.   Now I knew nothing.  I didn’t know why this was happening to me.  I didn’t know if I was even going to live.  I didn’t know if the mystery illness I was suffering would ever be acknowledged as anything other than my imagination.  Honestly,  I didn’t know if I was sane anymore.   I was cracking mentally.  My thoughts were full of fear, torture and torment.  And my world, every day, resembled something of what hell must be like.   I no longer knew what was real or what was true because my foundation had been fully shaken, like an earthquake had hit it.  If my life were a skyscraper, I was now in shambles all over the ground because the foundation had fatal cracks in it and I had built my life on something that would shift in the wind.   I was finished, done,  over.   I had nothing.   I was nothing. I couldn’t even cry.

And yet there it was, as I sat there in the dark, despondent and dead.  This voice inside of me was saying that He wanted me to allow Him to write His name across my heart.  I had fought Him for so long that I just didn’t know if I could possibly do this.  My issue was not with Father God.  (My earthly father was such a good man that this concept really didn’t get too messed up.)  And my issue was not with the Holy Spirit.  My issue was with Jesus Christ, that arrogant one who said He’s the only way.

But at that place,  I knew that it was more wise to trust His voice, even if I didn’t fully understand, than it was to trust my own thoughts anymore.  Coming to the end of myself?  Oh heck yeah.  I was beyond the end.   Something had to be greater than my own understanding, my own intelligence which had been my saving grace but was now clear evidence of my own severe limitations.  My thoughts could no longer reign supreme.  They had failed me.  I couldn’t even trust me.  So I thought- I have absolutely nothing to lose anymore.  I’ve lost it all.   What the freaking heck.  I’m going to jump, noose around my neck and all.  I don’t care anymore.  I’m done.

I felt it.  I literally, physically felt it.  He wrote His name, J-e-s-u-s, in cursive, across my heart.   No one could have felt more shock than I did at that moment. I felt His hand, writing His name across my heart and as He did, I felt a peace like I had never known flood my brain, my body, my emotions…..it almost felt like I was going to be comatose I was so at peace.

You have to understand this.   I was living in terror, every waking and sleeping moment.  The thought of dying and leaving my small children was beyond my ability to absorb.  It was inconceivable.  I couldn’t go to sleep at night in fear of not waking up.  It really wasn’t all paranoia.  I was deathly ill.   At the same time,  I couldn’t stay awake because being awake was constant torment.  There was no escaping the hell I was living- before that moment.

Peace.

Nothing will ever be more valuable to me than living in such a way that I am at peace.  And I know the one and only source.  His name is Jesus.

Takeaway:   In Jesus Christ we live and move and have our being.   He and He alone is might to save.   His blood sets us free and makes us in this world but not of it.   There is no other name.  Find peace through the author of peace.   

Prayer:  Jesus, I believe You are who You say You are.  I believe that You are mighty to save.   Save me, Lord, from my own head, from my own thoughts, from my own arrogance that would say my thoughts are higher than yours.   I love You.  I praise You.  I thank You.

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