A verse from the Bible has been a comfort to me over the years and never more than this week. Romans 8:28 says:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Over the past week personal friends of mine have had to deal with trials so personal that I can't even elaborate here except to say that my heart and mind were nearly consumed with concerns and prayers for them. To add to that was Kristy Dykes's continuing battle with brain cancer and the heart-stopping news two days ago of Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman's five-year-old daughter being killed in a freak accident when her older brother backed over her in an SUV. You can read an updated news account from the Nashville newspaper here.
It's been hard to write this week.
And it is difficult to understand sometimes why trials happen.
Why a five-year-old is taken from this earthly life when it will cause the family so much grief, or why someone as young as Kristy comes down with terminal cancer, or why my closest friend's husband is suddenly out of work and can't find another job. The list can go on and on.
This week I've been reviewing Beth Moore's study on the Fruit of the Spirit and, in particular, peace. God's peace. Truth is in this fallen world we will never enjoy perfect peace. The hippies tried it with their peace signs, and currently the groups railing against the US involvement in Iraq are trying it. Always, somewhere you will find personal tragedy, war, and criminal acts big and small. In fact, just today at the supermarket I had four green bags (the reusable kind you buy to use in place of plastic bags) in the kid seat of my cart. I turned my head to decide which kind of lettuce to buy and someone stole one right out of my cart!
How can I have an inner peace when there is so much going on around me? Because in my heart I know that this is not all there is. The Bible says that to God a 1000 years is like a minute. My pastor touched on this in last week's sermon. He broke that down to how that would compute to a 70 year life time. An hour and a half or so. Just a blip on the radar screen. Not a whole lot when compared to eternity with Him. He promises eternity where there will be no more crying and no more pain. That He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Lasting peace comes when we place our faith, trust, and hope in the Prince of Peace--Jesus.
That is how I have peace. What about you?