I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Have you ever had a crisis of faith? A time when you were so filled with grief, sorrow, and anger that you didn’t know where God was? Most of us have wrestled with this passage. Sure, when things are good, its message is perfectly clear; but when you are in agony, you are tempted to say, “What is this passage talking about? Where is my peace of mind and heart?” It is then that I need to remind myself of the context in which Jesus said these words. Read the whole chapter and you will see that Jesus has just introduced Heaven, a whole other reality. It was a cosmic introduction to the blending of this world and the next. Jesus was getting ready to go back to His father. He was about ready to face an unbearable death and spiritual suffering that we cannot begin to imagine. He was only moments from when He, too, would say, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” And yet, with deep empathy Jesus tells us in the first verse of this chapter not to be troubled because He was about to prepare another reality for us. It was obvious His disciples did not understand, so He tells them that He is going to give us the Holy Spirit to comfort us and help us in this world until we reach the next. And then Jesus shares today’s verse, “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” He was right. The world cannot give us peace during our dark nights of the soul. Neither can religion. Only in blending this world and the next can we even begin to make any sense of our suffering here. Only in a larger reality can we find any peace in this dimension. Jesus came so we could live in both. I pray that today you will be able to have a glimpse of this world in light of the next and see that Jesus is the Lord of both. And may that reality begin a process of peace, even in your darkest hour.
Dear Jesus, there are times when I ask, “Where is the peace in the darkest nights of the soul? Where is the comfort in such unbearable pain?” And yet, today I see that You who suffered such pain and anguish, have taken the harsh realities of this world and blended them with the next life. Please help my heart live in both realities. Help me today begin to experience the peace that You are talking about. In Jesus’name.
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