Peace in the Time of Trouble

April 14 – Sheltering in Place: John 20:19-22

Life as they knew it had suddenly changed. Now here they were, hiding out, terrified and confused on the evening of the resurrection. They were desperately seeking answers to the many questions they must have had. Then, without warning, Jesus showed up. There he was in their midst. He had found them in their isolation. He had found them in their fear. Jesus had found them even in the throes of their guilt and shame. And he spoke to them: “Peace be with you.”

Scripture talks a lot about peace. The Prophet Isaiah (26:3) said that God will keep them in perfect peace whose minds are focused on God. The Prophet Jeremiah delivered a message of God’s peace right before the people went into captivity (29:11), admonishing them to continue searching for God, even in their exile. The Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:6-7) wrote about the peace of God that passes all understanding. Jesus, himself, invoked peace in John 14:27, when he told the disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” he said. He was going to prepare a place for them, and he was leaving them with his peace.

During this Lenten season, many of us have stolen away to secret places, quiet places, where we can reflect on our relationship with God. My prayer is that Jesus has met you in those places. That he has shown up in your struggles, your fear, your confusion, your searching. I pray that Jesus has shown up as you’ve fasted and prayed. I pray that Jesus has spoken peace over your circumstances – a peace that passes all understanding.

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