We all get and give gifts. We all also wish for good things to happen to people we love. (And maybe we wish for bad things to happen to some other folks, but …) When Jesus knew that his time on earth was growing short, he gave a gift and in essence voiced a great wish for his disciples.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
Chapter 14 of John’s gospel starts off with words that I often read to crowds at funerals. In the opening few lines of that chapter, Jesus told his followers that as they encountered what would soon happen (his own death) they didn’t need to be troubled or afraid, because he was going away to prepare a place for them. He assured them that the day would come when they would get to join him in this new home.
Later in the chapter, Jesus spoke words of comfort that they could count on even before their own trip to the heavenly mansion.
“Peace I leave with you.” Jesus told those whom he loved. “My peace I give to you.”
There’s always been a special promise to me in those words from Jesus. As a believer, I have long felt the assurance of knowing that a heavenly home has been prepared for me when I die. And between now and then, something soothing seems to wash over me when I listen so closely that I can hear Jesus speak:
“My peace I give to you.”
That peace comes in knowing each and every day that God loves me. That peace comes in knowing that God’s grace is stronger than my tendency to sin. That peace comes in knowing that God knows where I’m heading, even when I am having trouble seeing the destination, and if I will just follow the path that is spelled out in God’s Word, life will be quite an adventure and peace will be a component. What Jesus promised, he gives —-peace.
God, help me to settle down long enough each day to receive the peace that You promise through my Lord and Savior, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.