The best things in life cannot be bought. They can only be received. Peace is one of those. “Peace, Peace” is the chorus from “Wonderful Peace”, which is an old hymn with many verses. Please enjoy this chorus, then come back for some ideas on peace.
One dark night on my motorcycle
Late one dark Oklahoma evening I was driving my old, green Honda motorcycle home. I had about eight miles left to go when I turned onto a highway. Out of “nowhere” an idea — a picture — flashed through my mind. In this picture, I was riding that Honda in front of a row of closed, dark shops. I recognized the road and shops and knew I would be passing them few miles down the road. In this picture, right in front of those shops, the motorcycle’s drive chain quietly fell off onto the street, and I calmly rolled to a stop. There was no fear or alarm with that picture. The picture was just —- there.
A few minutes later I was at the place I had seen myself in the picture. The chain fell off my Honda. I rolled to a stop. No alarm, no adrenaline. Oddly, no surprise. It was as if I had been given a chance to rehearse it so I would not be in danger of accident or injury.
I was able to park, get home, get a new chain — barely an inconvenience.
What about that picture of the motorcycle and chain and row of closed, dark shops? What I saw that night, and still see today is that my Lord is present, engaged, and caring — AND he wants me to KNOW it.
Knowing that the Lord is a very present help in time of trouble brings great peace.
Find peace by practicing the presence of God
In Mark 13 Jesus tells a parable about the master of a house who travels away to a far country. His servants have the authority to care for his property until he returns. The servants don’t know when he’ll return, so they must keep constant watch.
I did not give my parents much trouble as a kid. But I can recall times when I did things in their absence that I would not have done if I knew they were there to see me. I’m a little older now and realize my parents were better at seeing what I was up to than I had given them credit for. But, still, when I read Jesus’s parable with that kid’s mind, I imagine that the servants would be watching for the master’s return so they would not get caught doing something bad.
I’m a littler older now and see the parable in a different light: Jesus is not emphasizing that the servant’s master — or OUR Master — is absent.
The lesson to the servants is: WATCH. What does it mean to watch?
The servants should not live as if they own the place and always will. The servants SHOULD continue living and working as if the master were right there with them. Then, when the master returns, there will be joy and rewards.
Like those servants in Jesus’s parable, we watch — NOT for an absent master to return, but for our Lord, our “ever present help in time of need”, to work in our lives to will and do of His good pleasure.
The truth is, our Lord is present, and loving, and merciful and gracious. We watch so we don’t miss out on opportunities to live and love in the guidance of His light.
Ephesians says Jesus Christ is, right now, “the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.”
Think of that!
Does the Head of the Church care for someone driving an old motorcycle in Oklahoma? I have my answer of peace.
Jesus’s parable alerts the listener to live, KNOWING change is coming. Soon WE will see as we are seen, and will know as we are known. Jesus Christ IS returning, but right now he is NOT far away or aloof. And, so, we practice the presence of the Lord. Each day we watch for His grace and mercy woven into the fabric of our lives.
In the reality of His presence we find great peace.
Sometimes our minds or bodies need help receiving peace. Try this simple exercise to close out the day.
At bedtime, lie down on your back with the lights off.
Focus on your feet and ankles, and get them relaxed.
Next, relax your legs.
Next, your hips and belly.
Next, your heart and lungs.
Finally, your shoulders and neck.
Now thank your Lord for rest, His presence, and peace.
Tomorrow night — repeat.
God bless you lots!
LYRICS: Peace, Peace
Melody: William Gustin Cooper
Lyrics: Warren D. Cornell (1889)
coming down from
the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit
forever I pray
billows of love!
Your thoughts, please?
In the “Leave a reply” section below, please share a favorite example of God’s care for you. Thanks!
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