“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)
Leaving is hard. Moving into a new transition is hard. Jesus knew this as He spoke to His disciples before His arrest. In a few hours He would face beatings, crowds, and a horrific death by crucifixion. He comforts them, tells them the way to the Father, promises His Holy Spirit, and gives His peace as a guarantee. Not just any old peace, or the peace of the world, but HIS peace.
I find the words “I do not give as the world gives” to be interesting and comforting. Many times we hope to receive God’s grace, forgiveness, presence, or peace in a certain way. Straight into the heart, zap me, God!
I have found in life that many times these beautiful gifts of God are hidden and given to us in other-worldly ways…ways we would not expect. A few years ago, I left a position working with teens at my church. As the time wound down, and the teens and leaders held a time of saying good-bye for me, I had a strong resolve and felt I could get through anything. They surrounded me (all 200 of them), laid hands on my shoulders and head and the pastor prayed for my ministry and my new steps into another journey. The tears began to pour down my face as prayers were said, and I experienced such an amazing outpouring of grace and love that I could not stop crying. God’s hidden gifts were revealed and poured out upon me. Jesus brought me comfort, joy, peace, and love…through the hearts of teenagers… What an amazing gift. And one I will treasure forever in my heart.
Where is God revealing a hidden gift to you? Where might His peace or comfort be coming from? Is it in a child? A person you meet on the street? A doctor? A family member?
Jesus does not give to us as the world gives. That’s what makes Him so incredible and worthy of our praise! He gives long-lasting and soul-lifting gifts that reach into the inner depths of our hearts, stir us, and fill our deepest longings and needs. Won’t you look for His hidden gifts for your heart today?
Prayer–“God of peace and love, thank you for your outpouring of beautiful gifts to me, even when I don’t see them. Thank you for giving them to me in a way the world does not. Give me the eyes to see your gifts revealed, and to rejoice in all that you are doing in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”