It’s Thursday as I sit here writing this. I was just texting with a childhood friend of mine and learned that her tomorrow holds a dentist appointment, followed by a chemo treatment, topped off with her 2nd Covid vaccine.
Another friend will be undergoing her 13th(!) cancer-related surgery the same day.
And the prayer on my lips for them both is this:
Keep them calm.
Grant them courage.
As I mentioned in a previous letter (found here) it seems the work of my words these days is to take the shape of prayers and fly to those in need the world over. The prayer above came out of John 14:27, and who doesn’t need it right now?
In this Scripture, Jesus was giving a farewell gift to his understandably distraught disciples. And the gift was peace. And it was no small thing. Listen in:
“I leave the gift of peace with you – My peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but My perfect peace. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.”
Just look at what that peace can do!! This is no fragile peace indeed, for it contains the power to produce both calm & courage. Not just sometimes, but, if Jesus was right (and I have a sneaky suspicion he was) for every circumstance & every challenge.
The disciples have heard this ‘peace’ word before, in fact, they’ve seen this gift in action. They were in the boat when Jesus spoke ‘peace’ to the wind and waves that threatened their very existence. Saw for themselves the calmness that ensued. Heard Jesus ask them where their own courage had gone. They knew about this peace. Saw how it governed Jesus’ own life. And now, it would be theirs.
Jesus knows how to give good gifts.
- Free from agitation (picture those waves quieting down)
- Steady & Still
- Not deterred by danger or pain
- Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty
Here’s what I hear: Undeterred & Undisturbed. These are the gifts Jesus is giving, wrapped in the word of peace. A power to face all that is. For we know, don’t we, that it’s not always the circumstances that are calmed?
Yes. Jesus knows how to give good gifts.
And so, if I could, I’d take the hands of my friends (and of strangers around the world) and I’d place this peace in them, curl their fingers around it so they’d have it to hold – so it would hold them – as they move into their tomorrows. Be calm & courageous, I’d whisper, Christ’s peace will keep you still.
Calm & Courageous: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What circumstances or challenges are you facing?
- What gift or grace would you ask Jesus to give you?
- In what ways can you “pass the peace” to another this week?
- Practice blessing others, friends, enemies, and strangers alike, with this silent or spoken prayer: The peace of Christ be with your spirit.
- Our song of the week is: Peace, Be Still by Hope Darst or The Blessing by the Pittsburgh Virtual Choir. I simply could not choose?!
- Make me a person of peace. Keep me calm, grant me courage.