““I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”
John 14:25-27 MSG
This precious gift, intangible and yet so apparent, is given to us as we enter into relationship with Christ. He offers His creation the peace of Himself. Jesus had come as God in the flesh to be with His creation. He chose to live among people, in a family, working and fully involved in community. He was here. And He was their peace.
I want peace. I crave it. Strive for it. And everyone with whom I converse seems to be seeking peace as well. Peace is not commonly found in our natural world. It’s an intangible we try to manufacture by way of our learned coping skills.
Do you know your go to coping techniques? How about creating a ‘to do’ list or journaling your thoughts & emotions? How about cleaning or de-cluttering the junk drawer? Or organizing your closet? These certainly are some of my personal favorites. And do you know that these are all activities aimed at manufacturing peace by physically bringing order to a chaotic situation.
These are all good. Useful tools in our hands. But Jesus is better.
Jesus simply states that peace is found in Him. His presence with me is my peace.
December for me is not just Christmas, it’s my birthday month as well. (It’s awkward, and everyone with a December birthday just gave a nod to this truth.) So back in December 2020, I asked my dear man for an unusual birthday gift. I asked him to create a two year plan (on an Excel spreadsheet) and give the plan to me on a thumb drive.
Truly, this was the best gift I could think to ask for. I recognize now, looking 2 years back, that I was asking my dear man to give me peace. You see, we were preparing for a big cross country move already 18 months in the making. We believed that 2022 might be the target year to make our move, and the vastness of this undertaking was overwhelming to both of us.
““I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
We believed with certainty that this move was not a whim, but a call of God. Yet, I was having trouble latching onto peace with which to hammer down fear. There were too many what-ifs running through my brain. The big picture of the destination was firmly planted in our hearts, but the details were driving me nuts on a daily basis.
I needed the one who could set the wheels in motion (my dear man) to share with me his thoughts, his good ideas and his timeline. And what I knew is that my dear man has a gift of administration. He’s talented in forecasting, budgeting and planning. He’s my detailed organizer, and so I asked him to create a two year plan on a spreadsheet and give it to me for my birthday, December 2020.
He did. And I was thrilled! I was holding a two year plan that I could see, read, review and go back to in anxious moments. I experienced peace in the chaos of a big picture call.
A plan doesn’t remove difficulty or challenging circumstances. Following a plan doesn’t mean there won’t be detours or set backs or delays. In fact, having a plan makes it easier to see a challenge as an opportunity, and a plan is a framework from which to reorder the steps. Just knowing there’s a grand plan for accomplishing the end goal adds a level of peace that winging it through chaos can’t create.
And honestly this is what creates such excitement in me as I re-read these precious words of Jesus. The One who has always had all power to set the wheels in motion not only has a plan, the Triune Majesty of God has always had a plan to rescue us – even before we needed rescuing. Not only has He always had a plan, Jesus came as the word of God made flesh and dwelt among us. As the God man living among men, He spoke the eternal good plan and then God inspired some of these men to write the plan down so that all these thousands of years later you and I can read the plan and know He is our peace.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.””
Luke 2:10-12 NIV
The good news of Christmas is that God always wanted us, every single one of us. He created, and planned for us to be His united and redeemed family. The Good news of Christmas is that God not only planned, but He already has set in motion His victorious plan for peace on Earth. The invitation to peace is for you and for me – for all people everywhere. The invitation is Jesus Himself and He stands at your door knocking.
Will you invite Him in?
It’s really that simple. And if you want to read the plan for yourself, find a Bible & begin reading. His plan is one story of redemption from Genesis through Revelation. When you need peace, it is good news to know the One who has always had a plan, has always been the One to set the wheels in motion and has already overcome evil. Jesus is your peace. The peace of this season and always when you say yes to Jesus.
““Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors!”
Revelation 3:20-21 MSG
Eyes on Jesus and Shine,