Be Still

Abby at peace.
Change. It's never easy to deal with. Whether those changes are minor or major, they bring with them certain consequences. Some of us deal with those consequences without too much trouble. Others struggle a little more. But we all struggle.

When Abby and Lou Lou came to Canada from Venezuela, I was told that, once released from their carriers, they would likely find some place to hide and stay hidden for up to two weeks. When we released them, they ran to the nearest closet. That was expected. But, much to everyone's surprise, within 45 minutes they were out making themselves at home as though they had always lived in their new quarters. The change caused some stress, but not much.

Jesus knew that His disciples were about to face a huge change in their lives. In fact, there would not simply be one change, but several, to be confronted. He was heading to the cross and that would be traumatic for them. After all, they had walked with Him for three years. And they were still clinging to the idea that His Kingdom was more than simply "otherworldly." His death was not yet something they had embraced. Then, after the resurrection, He would call them to complete the mission He had begun and that too would mean huge changes for them.

So, as part of His final message to them before Calvary, He left them with these words:

"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).

What kind of peace does the world give? We know about "peace accords." They seldom last. Certainly peace of heart and mind is a fleeting thing, easily destroyed with the next change, the next challenge, the next problem. It may be anchored to trust in something or someone, but not firmly attached to the only Rock that never moves no matter what change comes along, to the One Who will never betray the trust we place in Him.

So Jesus confidently tells His followers to not "be troubled" and to not "be afraid." He tells them that His peace is a permanent thing that, though assaulted by all kinds of challenges and troubles, will never be shaken.

It's a Psalm 46 kind of peace. The world is in turmoil, but the Master of that world speaks: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea...The Lord Almighty is with us...Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall...BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD; I WILL EXALTED AMONG THE NATIONS, I WILL BE EXALTED IN THE EARTH" (Psalm 46:1, 3, 6, 7, 10, emphasis mine).

"Be still." Be at peace. Don't be troubled. Don't be afraid. God's got you covered.

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