Friday, May 13, 2016


    This week began with the three most stressful days of my life. Without going into details, those three days probably crippled me mentally and emotionally more than anything I've ever experienced. Until Thursday, I had eaten precisely two meals this week and hadn't fallen asleep before two in the morning. Most of the day I spent pacing, praying, and sitting worrying.

     Toward the end of one of those days (which are kind of muddled in my head now), I sat down to write for a minute. I just closed my eyes and took a moment to think. What did I want? What was my hope during all this? I thought for a minute, and I wrote one simple sentence, "I long for peace."

     As your world rocks around you, when life cuts like a knife and you feel the pain more keenly than any physical pain you've ever felt, I beg you, hold on! There is peace, against all odds, against what you think and what your mind tells you, there is a peace. When the knife twists and you look back and wonder how you got where you are and why you chose to fight, don't give up!

     "Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly at heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Rest. I don't think about these verses too much at this season of life, because as a young guy, part of my excitement at the coming life ahead is the conflicts and the situations that lie ahead. There feels like there is purpose in it.

     But there's also pain in it. There's exhaustion, there's fear, there's stress, and those are the times I look at Jesus and cry out, "Where is your rest? Where is this rest you promised?" In the middle of the pain, it's hard to feel the rest.

     People, listen to me! Whether you feel it or not, Jesus promises peace. He promises rest in Him... peace in the middle of a battle, and rest in the middle of raging seas. That rest and that peace doesn't mean a touchy, constantly hugged feeling or an ethereal, flying feeling. No, here is the voice of experience saying that you can be loved relentlessly and still feel the knife twist.

     The joy in Christ that I know exists is a knowledge, not necessarily a feeling. The unchangeable truth is that when your world is falling apart, a sovereign God is holding you up, whether you feel that or not. That's the pivotal part. You won't always feel it. Some days, the pain out weighs every other feeling... but the truth doesn't change! The truth remains through all of it, that Christ's love is completely relentless, never ending, never changing, never quitting, never tiring.

     "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, not any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."

    "...All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth... lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

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