"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)
Jesus does not GIVE us peace. I know that's what He said, but I believe that is not what He meant. We usually think of experiencing peace by a "give and take." We ask Jesus for peace, Jesus graciously gives us peace and then we take it. Kind of like borrowing a pencil. We ask a friend for a pencil, they give it to us, and then we take it. Once we have it, we walk away, no longer having need for our friend. In the same way, we see peace as something separate from Jesus presence. We see peace like borrowing a pencil.
Do you remember when you were little and something you were experiencing or thinking of made you afraid? You didn't have peace. So what did you do? You most likely called a parent or loved one and told them about your fear and then asked them to stay with you. Do you remember how you felt while they were with you; maybe embracing you or laying next to you? Yep, you were no longer afraid. Did they give you peace in that moment? Did they hand you peace like you hand someone a pencil? Nope. Your fears subsided and you received peace because of their presence.
That's exactly how Jesus GIVES us peace. He GIVES us Himself. He supplies His presence. He doesn't give as the world gives. The world would rather you take the pencil instead. The world would rather "give and leave." But Jesus simply GIVES. He longs to stay and linger with us. And when we stop asking for Peace and simply call out to Jesus, peace will be the result. Jesus doesn't GIVE us peace, He is our Peace.
When you are afraid or are struggling with anxiety, remember, Jesus' presence is your peace. He gave us Himself forever through His Holy Spirit. Because of His indwelling presence we never have to live anxious and afraid. Next time you are overcome with worry or fear, declare, "Jesus thank you that I don't have to be afraid because I have You."
Jesus, forgive me for treating your peace like something I recieve apart from You. Remind me that You are always with me when I become fearful, and that Your presence is my peace. Amen