Packin' God's Peace

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Cancer. It's one of those words no one wants to hear, especially in the same sentence with a loved one's name. My husband had just phoned to tell me that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. At 46, he was his doctor's 2nd youngest patient ever. As the shock began to wear off, my thoughts turned from, "How could this be?" to, "Why is this happening?" As I sat devastated before the Lord, pouring my heart out to Him, His quiet, gentle voice whispered in my heart, "Stop asking why and start asking what." Immediately I knew what He meant. What did He want to change in my heart through this trial? What amazing things would He do in the lives of my children through this? Not only did peace begin to reign in my heart, but an excitement blossomed in the place of despair as I focused on seeing God work in my family in a major way, whatever the outcome of Scott's cancer.

Today I read John 13:1-20. This section of scripture is a familiar one, as it recounts Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. This single act of humility should function as enough inspiration to fuel a lifetime of service in a Christ-follower. I began reading this passage with the expectation that God would talk to my heart about the importance of having a servant's heart and loving others without regard to whether they serve or love me. One of the things I've come to love about spending time with God is that He rarely meets my expectations. He usually has a surprise in store for me. Today was no different. As I read, Verse 7 leapt off the page. "Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand'."

Never had I thought about the penetrating truth of this verse. This is a great promise of God. The next time I face a seemingly insurmountable trial, this truth will be in my heart. I will understand. I cannot tell you how many times I have left a sermon discouraged because the deliverer just told me I may never understand the "whys" behind my "whats". Here I have God's truth telling me that I can and will understand.

Thank you, Jesus, for your truth. Your truth truly does set me free (John 8:32). I am free to trust God completely during every minute of a difficult situation and free to allow exitement and wonder fill my heart even before I see Him work. Today may have in store unimaginable suffering or just the mundane frustrations of everyday life. No matter what I face today though, Jesus, I'll face it packed with Your peace.

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