I sat in our bedroom closet at the end of a long day. I picked up my Bible and started to read. I'm reading in John.
Oh...yes...I do sit on my closet floor each night with my Bible. I know. Random. It used to be on the edge of our master bath...now it's the closet floor. Whatever works. It's quiet. I'm alone. There are no distractions in there. It's my spot.
John. It's familiar. I've read the Gospels dozens and dozens of times. It's hard to read what is familiar. My mind was skipping ahead...I would reread verses just because I was having a hard time really paying attention.
You have been there...right? It's so familiar. We know it so well. That...perhaps...we miss it.
I almost missed it.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)
Yes. Peace! He came to give me Peace!!
Quickly followed by "...you will have trouble."
What did you say...?
You tell me these things so I can have peace. And then You quickly tell me I WILL (not might...) have trouble.
This is so often what we miss.
No promises of a smooth path. So many times we read and we see what we want to hear. PEACE. He came that I would have PEACE. Close my Bible and move along.
No. There's more. In this world...you WILL have trouble.
(insert heart sinking feeling here).
But take heart. I have overcome the world.
I get it. Maybe that's so familiar to you as well...that it's not hitting you. Or maybe you didn't have a day of "trouble" like I had.
Maybe you don't know a beautiful mom of 3 children...in hospice right now dying of breast cancer...begging God for Christmas miracle.
Maybe you don't know of a young child...who's parents are fighting day and night for the strength to fight for her life...just one more day. Just the hope of one more day.
Maybe in the busy-ness of your life...you don't see the mom who's made mistakes she can't see how to fix. Choices...she's vowed she would never make...in moments of despair and desperation for value...after years of being told she wasn't good enough...wasn't beautiful enough...wasn't thin enough.
I went to bed with peace. Praying for my friends to find their peace in Him tonight.
In fact...all through the night...I heard that verse over and over and over again. It wasn't even a quiet whisper. It was louder than that. It spoke right to my realist self where I needed it most. I don't do sugar coated well. Give it to me straight.
I will have trouble.
Not what I wanted to hear...but if that's what's ahead...let me know.
He knew what our very next thought would be. I love this.
Like He's saying "no...no...no don't go there...it's ok! Take heart! I have overcome...!"
We aren't in a bubble. We WILL have trouble. Maybe your name won't be flashing in lights...here. You won't be named "Hero of the day"....here.
But...Heaven is taking note of your trouble.
Peace. In Him.