The last six weeks or so have been very stressful for our family. Several of us have had health issues t0 deal with and the rest of us have tried to supply moral support and encouragement for one another. I actually worried about an issue that turned out to be okay, but not without a week of anxiety and stress. Janet has been having a difficult time as well and we are always concerned about the health of our kids and grandchildren.
Aside from the health concerns, we have been made aware of friends and acquaintances who are also dealing with health crises and one of my classmates from seminary laid his wife in the arms of Jesus earlier today, after 52 years of marriage. It’s a sad day.
Clients are struggling with the usual problems and it seems that there are no clear answers. In fact, I am so busy dealing with these sorts of issues that sometimes I wonder how I ever had time to earn a living during my working years… I am far busier now than I ever was in the corporate world.
I still do quite a bit of ministry work. I teach several weekly Bible studies and I have been invited to take on another one. Additionally, a dear pastor friend of mine is in Israel for a month and I am taking over his church for the month of March. It’s a long drive each way on Sundays but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have found that I am much more able to cope with the rigors of my life when I can find divine peace during the week. Lately, its been very elusive.
Health issues seem to make peace a difficult thing to experience. Then, just being so busy. It’s after 9:30 this evening and just now I am off the phone handling questions and providing answers. Sometimes, I think that it may be easier to just retire, but I know that I would be bored out of my mind. I love the challenge of still being active in the corporate space – although I do know that my passion is ministry. Oh, on top of everything else, I have been called to jury duty in several weeks…
The answer is to find peace… just that… PEACE. There have been times in my life when I have been fortunate enough to experience peace for prolonged periods of time. Not so much lately… And when we get busy and tired, it becomes even more difficult to attain that level of peace that seems to be so difficult for me to find these days…. You get the idea… I am sure that many of us have experienced this from time to time.
Our verse for tonight comes from the apostle John in his Gospel. John addresses this issue of peace by giving us the words of Jesus Himself. John tells us, in John 14:27, “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.” My encouragement this evening is that while peace can be elusive, it is achievable with the help of Jesus. My prayer is that we will always remember that when things seem to be out of hand, even overwhelming, then stop and wait for God’s presence to wash over you. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…