|Photo by Pam Williams|
at Brookgreen Gardens, SC
"When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
A week later his disciples were again in the house and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’
Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’’
—John 20:19-21 and 26-29
Peace can be as elusive and fleeting as a butterfly flitting about on the wisp of a breeze. Jesus understood our penchant for allowing peace to escape us. Within seven verses in John 20, He says three times, “Peace be with you.”
How do we lose our peace? For me, discontent and insecurity can unscrew the lid on my mason jar of peace. Fear and the inability to control a situation can suffocate peace, like placing a butterfly in a container with no holes for air. And sometimes, like the Julia butterfly in my photo, my peace can become quite tattered by inescapable circumstances.
John 20 offers us three ways to capture peace:
1) Share our concerns with other Christians: The disciples gathered together—yes, they were gathered in fear, but later these gatherings strengthened and propagated their peace.
2) Recognize God’s hand in what is happening around us: Jesus showed them His hands and side; He will also reveal His movements within our lives if we look for them.
3) Step out in faith and obey God: Jesus invited Thomas to touch His wounds, proving He really was Jesus, and Thomas obeyed. The result? Peace!
What kinds of situations cause peace to escape you? How do you net peace?
©2014 Pamela D. Williams