A Hurricane Named Peace
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A few months ago I thought they were talking about my grandmother storming up the East Coast. Actually, it was a hurricane with the same name - Irene. Oh, and I know what that name means. It means peace. How ironic.
Of course, it was in the face of a monster life-hurricane that Jesus gave His disciples one of the greatest promises of peace ever made. Within hours, the Man for whom they have left everything would be arrested, and tortured and crucified like a criminal.
Our word for today from the Word of God, John 14 beginning in verse 27, tells us that as this Category 5 "hurricane" was on the verge of ripping apart their world, Jesus said: "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" (John 14:27).
Excuse me, but how can a devastating life-storm go hand-in-hand with peace?
I got a hint of how on the day they thought the plane I was on might crash. The hydraulic system had failed and we were being diverted to the nearest airport. The flight attendants were barely concealing their own anxiety, and they were drilling us as fast as they could in how to prepare for a crash landing (of course, they never mentioning that "c" word, but you could tell that's what it was about). Needless to say, it was suddenly very tense, very quiet on our flight.
There was a grandma next to me, and she was I guess pretty much a nervous wreck. She talked about seeing her grandchildren in New Jersey, and I listened and I did my best to be of some comfort to her, and even tried to lighten it up a little bit with a little humor. Then it was time to land on a runway that was flanked with these emergency vehicles; lights flashing everywhere. And thankfully, we landed safely, just a little bumpy.
We were packing up to leave, and grandma said to me, "How could you be so calm when everybody else was so uptight?" And I said, "Well, I had total peace the whole time, actually, because my peace isn't based on what's going on around me. It's based on Who's going on inside me. One day I asked Jesus to come into my life and take over, and He did, and nothing can take Him from me."
Now, that's the secret of hurricane peace. Your response to the tempest is defined by your anchor relationship with Jesus Christ, not the screaming winds of the storm. Or as the Bible says, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" (Isaiah 26:3). The wind and the water won't determine what happens to me. Jesus will. And whatever may get washed away, I cannot lose the One who is my reason to live, my defining love, my unloseable security.
Of course, the peace that Jesus promised to His followers that dark night would come at an unthinkable price; His horrific death on a cross, because there is no peace for someone who's away from the God who made them. And, according to the Bible, we all are. Having the unshakeable peace of God depends on being at peace with God, and that couldn't happen without my sin being paid for. So the road to peace is paved with the blood of Jesus. Or as the Bible says, "He was crushed for our iniquities (or wrongdoings); the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him" (Isaiah 53:5).
So, for you, peace will begin at the foot of Jesus' cross; the peace place where Jesus died to pay the price to make peace between you and God. And that peace becomes yours, that gift of eternal life becomes yours when you reach out and make it your own; when you personalize it by saying, "Jesus, I give myself to You because You died for me, and You're alive because You walked out of your grave. I want You to walk into my life." Let the peace begin! Let it happen today. Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
Please go visit our website and you can watch, or read, or listen to a presentation there that will help you understand how to begin your relationship with Him.
Hurricane-proof peace is a Person, and He'll be there when the storm is howling, and He'll be there when the storm has passed.