There have been a couple seasons in my life when I’ve lived close to sand and surf, and there are not too many places that compare. I remember a time under the hot African sun when I looked around me with a scowl, thinking my beach was crowded; in reality there were maybe another half dozen people for miles. I wasn’t asking for much. I wanted tranquility, and the kind of Coca-cola you can only get in hot, remote places – ice cold in a glass bottle.
And I wanted life to be about me.
Now, I know there are people a lot worse off than me. Close friends are dealing with heartache. Loved ones are facing the specter of dwindling health. I’ve met traumatized, malnourished kids that IF they are still alive today, will still be missing limbs.
But I have my issues too. “The daily grind” once described the preferred state of my coffee beans; now it’s the grating and milling of my jawbones.
Know what I mean?
It’s the first time you try to start your lawnmower in the spring.
It’s coming out of Wal-Mart to find a dent in your car door, and no other vehicle even remotely close.
It’s picking your kid up to give her a tender hug, and getting kicked square in the nether regions.
It’s realizing that you once wanted to change the world, but now your biggest concern is the dandelions in the backyard.
Here’s the problem: Jesus never promised us “some beach” peace. In fact, he said that in this world we would have troubles, and he was talking about more than scratched paint and kicked crotches. We should be grateful; when it’s time to reenter the real world, “some beach” peace has a tendency to leave oneself with a sandy chafing in the underpants of one’s emotions.
“Some beach” peace, for me, is like a child who lets out too much string and suddenly finds his Clark Kent kite floating away forever. That last two inches of string spinning off the reel is the kind of peace the world gives: a half second of flight, and then forlornly gazing at nothing but an empty sky.
The peace Jesus gives is different; instead of disappearing, it often appears out of a clear blue sky.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard Me say that I am going away. But I am coming back to you…” –Jesus
John 14:27-28 New Life Version
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