“Jesus, I receive your peace.” That’s my prayer lately. Jesus says, “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
Growing up with the constant fear and sometimes reality of sexual abuse, I breathed worry, tumult, and distress. The emotional atmosphere of our childhood leaves its mark. Warmth, concern, compassion yields an interior sense of calm and hope. The constant, low-level fear that marked my upbringing set me up for an automatic expectation of evil. At a young age, evil had surprised me and I half-expected pain around every corner.
Even when we’ve experienced much healing, that expectation of difficulty dies hard. We worry our children won’t come home from an overnighter. We’re afraid to fly–not so much because of pat-downs, though they also scare us–but because the plane might crash. We know our spouse is faithful, but that doesn’t stop images of unfaithfulness flitting through our minds.
There’s been something helpful lately in that prayer: “Jesus, I receive your peace.” He says he gives it to us. Not based on circumstances, but based in his character. The God who comes in the flesh to be with us is still right here, right now.
Jesus, show us how to receive the peace you offer. For your glory. Amen.