My internal alarm went off this morning at 5:15. Although I love my sleep, I love those peaceful moments early in the morning when my world is quiet even more. I pushed the button for the coffee to brew and began to think about my day. It was going to be busy, but before it began, I would spend time with the Lord. It is my favorite way to start the day, in my comfy chair, with a cup of hot black coffee, my Bible, and journal.
This morning began the same way it does each day, asking the Lord to teach me from his Word. I prayed he would teach me something I needed to know and practice. And then I opened my Bible to John 14, the place I had left off yesterday. In John 14:27, Jesus tells his disciples he is leaving. But he wasn’t leaving them empty-handed; he said he would leave them with a gift of peace of mind and heart. He didn’t say pray for peace of mind and heart. No, he said he WOULD GIVE peace of mind and heart to his followers as a gift. Peace was the going-away gift he was giving as he left.
Hmmm? That got me thinking. Have I been thinking about God’s peace the wrong way? God, what are you trying to remind me of here? I journaled about that question and asked the Lord for clarity.
Later in the morning, I attended a Thanksgiving get-together at our church. We sang and laughed and had a great time fellowshipping, and then our youth pastor spoke. He spoke on…yes, you guessed it, John 14. Now there are a lot of possible passages to choose from, but he landed on this one! I sat up and took notice as he focused right in on verse 27… “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you? I’m going away, but I will come back to you again…”. My mouth dropped open as he read these words. Okay, God, you have my attention.
I have learned that when the Lord gives me the same lesson twice in one day- pay close attention! Pastor Matt reminded us that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of Jesus, was to BE our PEACE. For he himself is our peace. No matter the world’s circumstances, the Holy Spirit’s presence allows us to enjoy and rest in this peace. I don’t know about you, friend, but this girl needs to focus and rest right there.
Several years before my mom went home to be with the Lord, I bought her a battery-operated jar opener. She loved canned peaches from Trader Joe’s but struggled to open the jar. Whenever I came over, she would hand me a jar of peaches to open. So one day, I appeared with the jar opener in hand, taught her how to use it, and thought the problem was solved. I was wrong, she continued to have me open her jar of peaches, and the battery-operated jar opener sat in the drawer. I can be like my mom when accessing the peace of mind and heart Jesus has given me. I can leave it unused and worry and be anxious. I need to change!
As I look around me, I have a choice to be overwhelmed with all the wild waves of society crashing around me, Or I can look within and see that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me, well, now…this makes the whole story different. This girl’s heart calms, knowing the peace of mind and heart are already within me. Just like Jesus calmed the Sea of Galilee for Peter and the disciples, he calms his children internally. No matter what the world throws our way, the PEACE of mind and heart is a gift we have already been given. Hallelujah! That, my friend, is GREAT news.
I don’t know what storm has your world rocking and rolling, but if you know Jesus, you already have the internally generated Holy Spirit peace of mind and heart. Take hold of it, and let it take hold of you.
Hey Friend- if you are looking for more devotional material, why not try my 11-Day plan on the YOUVERSION app. Completed by over 10,000 people. You can find it at https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/20868-pack-your-baggage-honey.