This morning I was sitting at my desk getting ready for a bible study I have tonight. This question popped up in the study, “Have you experienced the peace that comes from truly following Jesus?”
And then the reality hit me again, fresh. “My son died.” Its like I forget it in some moments. I remember his birth. I chuckle at the memory of announcing my pregnancy on Facebook while my husband was on a hunting trip. Then the memories go straight to the night he left me.
So as I meditate on the peace that I have experienced from truly following Jesus, it is undoubtedly accompanied by the memories of the storm that came first.
In my life as a Christ-follower I have given up everything from alcohol to sin to bad relationships. I have given up pride. I have surrendered privileges. I have fought for lost souls. I have poured myself out in prayer. I have given my time, my home and my love. But no sacrifice cut as deep as the one I bear in my own flesh and in my spirit, the offering of my son. No sacrifice caused as much pain or turmoil. None has evoked a storm of such magnitude. The winds of sorrow. The waves of grief. The pouring of tears. A torrential storm.
But it was in that storm that I found out my Savior still saves. He still saves. I am a living, breathing testimony of that truth.
He says some really hard things that go along with that truth though. Like I have to love him more than I love my child (Mt. 10:37). I have to accept the fact that I am not exempt from suffering, because he wasn’t (Mt. 10:24). I have to be ready in every circumstance to follow him even into my deepest fear.
It’s crazy really. In my darkest pit, in my worst case scenario, in my most tangible fear, he spoke the loudest peace. My tears still flow. My eyes are burning as I type. But he speaks peace. In fact, as I was looking for a different passage, he no doubt led my fingers to this page:
A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Luke 7:11-5
I feel Jesus looking at me with the same eyes. He overflows with compassion for me. And he most surely says to me, “Don’t cry.” I love all those things. But most of all, I love that one day I will see my dead son live too. I live for the moment when Jesus gives Azaiah back to his mother. That is truly my peace.
Because of God’s tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.- Prophesy of Zechariah Luke 1:78-80