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.
Today is our Wedding Anniversary. As fans of the TV series Downton Abbey we had long ago planned to have a special day visiting Highclere Castle in Berkshire where the series was filmed. We have been looking forward to this but like so many other things it has had to be postponed for another time.
All of us will have faced similar disappointments in recent weeks as we’ve not been able to carry on with the ordinary things that make our lives special - family visits and meals, birthday celebrations, holidays, gatherings or simply popping out for a coffee or a drink. I wonder how you are coping with these disappointments. Perhaps you are an introvert and love being locked in at home or perhaps by now you are struggling in isolation and just long to be able to mix again.
I was doing quite well until this week when I have felt a bit less settled and more anxious about the future. As I reflected on this the words of Jesus in John 14 came to mind. It was the night before he was to be crucified and he had been trying to encourage his followers. In doing so he left them a lasting gift – peace. ‘My peace, I give to you’ he says – do not be troubled, do not be afraid. Over the past few days I have been praying those words into my own life asking that Jesus brings me peace too.
It seems that we may have to get used to social distancing of some sort for a quite a bit longer. If like me you are feeling anxious, lonely or perhaps even depressed, pray too for peace in your heart. Pray that Jesus would meet with you and offer you the wonderful gift that only he can give.
As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of a song that was popular a few years ago which I found helpful to listen to again – My Peace I give unto you. Perhaps you might like to listen to it too. Maybe, shut your eyes and allow the words to soak in and as you do ask Jesus to give you His gift of peace afresh.
Prayer: Lord, I come before you ready to pour out my worries, anxieties and fears at Your feet. I am claiming and declaring Your promises for blessings of peace and strength over my life. Bring a peace into my soul that passes all worldly understanding and make me a light for others to see Your strength. Amen
Prayer Request: For all those in our community struggling with their mental health as the lockdown continues. Pray for the peace of Jesus to be a reality for them and for wisdom and strength as they find the best ways of coping.