Monday, June 3, 2013

Peace (Even in Oklahoma?)

“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~

We watched a news video in church yesterday about Barbara Garcia, who lost her dog during the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. She was sitting on a stool with her dog in her lap when the twister hit. As she told her story, what struck me was the sense of peace revealed in her attitude and spirit. (YouTubeclip)

I heard somebody say recently that peace isn’t the absence of something, it is the presence of something. Peace isn’t found by getting rid of the enemy of it, but embracing something even in the presence of enemies. True peace isn't simply the absence of storms, tornadoes, pain, suffering, or conflict, it is the comforting presence of Jesus Christ in the midst of it. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). 

Barbara described the moment after the tornado. As she was laying in the rubble, “Then it was light,” and she knew she was going to be OK. The light signaled that the storm was over, but her dog was gone.

During the interview, Barbara found her dog. She said that God answered both of her prayers, for her and for her dog. Peace and joy were manifest in her voice.

We have a team of 12-15 people headed to Moore, Oklahoma, departing this Sunday after church. Please pray that we can be God’s agents of peace and light in the midst of the devastation.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

1 comment:

  1. Your devotional reminded me of a story that I have used in some of my retreat talks. Maybe you have seen it? ....

    There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many artists throughout the kingdom tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he finally decided to choose between them.

    One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was like a mirror with peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Along the shore were wild flowers and deer grazing in a meadow. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

    The other picture had mountains too. But these mountains were rugged and bare. Above was an angry gray sky from which rain fell and lightening flashed. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked closer at the picture, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest.

    The wise King thought deeply about the two pictures and decided that to him, the perfect picture of peace was the second picture. “But why?” asked his subjects.

    "Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace." True peace can only come from the presence of God living in our hearts.