"How to Find Real Peace"
"Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
Luke 1:78-79 (NIV)
I left my dying father’s hospital room and searched in vain for my car. The parking deck hadn’t felt so dark and looming when I’d pulled in, but that was more than 24 hours ago. A new day had begun, but there was no shining sun.
As I opened my door, it was all I could do to hoist my mentally and physically exhausted self up into my truck’s seat. It may have been my birthday, but not one ounce of me wanted to celebrate.
There is no way I could have prepared for that day; it’s a strange feeling to take care of a terminally ill parent, especially when you’re a mom of little children.
Would my eldest remember my dad? I knew my 2-year-old wouldn’t. I felt robbed. I’m too young not to have a dad.
Tears streamed down my face. As soon as I started the car, lyrics from the radio spoke of a day when going to heaven will bring those of us who love and follow Christ new bodies. The day of ultimate healing.
Jesus met me in my car that day. He reached down into my pit of despair. He made it clear to me that He was real and heaven is real, too.
Before this day I’d prayed non-stop for God to heal Dad. I knew He could. As I read my Bible I came across stories of Jesus healing the blind, the lame, even raising the dead. I’d seen Him heal a friend’s child of cancer. There was no doubt in my mind that God could heal my dad’s cancer too.
However, until that day in the parking deck, I had never considered my father’s passage to heaven as the ultimate healing. This realization poured a peace into my spirit like I had never experienced during his cancer battle.
That peace filled my heart and stayed through the next day when he died. It was there the day of his funeral, and it’s been there each time I’ve thought of him since. God’s perfect love flowed to imperfect me and continues to remain in my life, quieting my fears of the future as well as the pains of my past.
Perhaps there are days when you feel life isn’t fair. Maybe it even feels hopeless. At times like these, when we don’t feel Jesus’ love for us, we can reach out to Him, asking for His peace that goes beyond our feelings. A peace that surpasses our understanding (Philippians 4:7, ESV). A real peace beyond what we can comprehend or communicate. We can reach out to our Jesus and lay hold of the truth in today’s key verse: "Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
Father, no matter how I feel, help me remember and reach out for the peace Jesus wants to give me through His perfect love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (NIV)
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." (NIV)