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.
–John 14:27 NIV
I haven’t been sleeping well lately. In my mom’s journey with Alzheimer’s, she has begun taking midnight strolls through the house looking for my dad (deceased), or more food (from a not yet renovated kitchen), or anything else that seems vaguely familiar in her mind. We put a sensor on the door so that we would know when she was out of her room (very helpful), but now I find myself lying in bed in the middle of the night wondering if I heard a ding or movement, and then imagining what could possibly go wrong. In my ever-vigilant state this morning, I wearily asked the Lord, “What do I need to make space for?” And that verse above came flooding into my mind.
On his way to the cross, Jesus concerned himself with his friends’ well-being, telling them what to expect as the road crumbled before them and reminding them that they were not alone. In this passage full of both hard truth and comfort, Jesus communicated to his friends their need to make space for Peace. Twice He mentioned that the Advocate, the Comforter, will come and help them. They needed to choose to make space for this One sent in the name of their Master and Friend in order to experience all He had for them.
I relate to Philip’s statement earlier in the chapter (v. 8) when he was confused by what Jesus was saying. He sighed, “Lord, just show us the Father, and then that will be enough.” In my mind, I see Jesus shaking his head and saying, “Oh Philip…where have you been dude? Do you not see Me and know Me and experience Me? Is that not enough?” Like me, Philip wanted this process of following Jesus to be easier, clearer, maybe even faster than what God intended. I see in my own heart a desire for ease, but God shakes his head and says, “Jayne, you need ME more than you need it to be easy.”
My heart craves ease—a full night’s sleep, a predictable life—but God’s answer is peace. In this Lent season, what is your heart craving? Do you hear our gentle Father say, “Come to me, all of you who are weary—hyper-vigilant, in trouble, confused, struggling, fearful—and I will give you rest and peace.” Will you let Him journey with you, side by side, as you pursue His presence more than making it easy? This is the question for myself today.
ACTION: Listen to the song by Kari Jobe and let your mind dwell on His peace.