Searching for Peace… and Toilet Paper
Written By Judy Marzi
Searching for peace can be a lot like shopping for toilet paper during the Covid-19 outbreak; unless you know where to look, you’ll come up empty. Since the most reliable search engine is God’s Word, let’s start there:
In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples something very unsettling; He’s physically leaving them. But He assures them that they are not going to be alone; He’s sending the Holy Spirit to be with them. He’s also leaving them with the very thing we’re searching for today, His peace. “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 NIV). This peace is their legacy, it’s a gift directly from Him, and it’s different than the world’s peace.
In John 16, he assures the disciples that even though they will soon scatter, He will not be alone because the Father will be with Him. He further said the words we’re so familiar with, “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.” (John 16:33 NIV). Jesus makes it clear that peace is found in Him and trouble (or tribulation) is found in the world.
Lasting peace isn’t found in the world; the shelves are empty. There’s an abundance of tribulation on the shelves, but not peace. Peace is found in Jesus. And He gives it to us. We can’t manufacture it or earn it; it’s a gift that is given freely to us. It’s HIS peace, directly from the Prince of Peace, that He’s offering us. All we have to do is receive it and use it!
God has not left us alone in this Covid-19 crisis to fend for ourselves. The “Emmanuel” we celebrated at Christmas is still Lord and He’s still with us! He promises in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us or forsake us! That’s the reason we don’t have to fear—the Lord is near!
Imagine that you’re looking for toilet paper and all the shelves in all the stores are empty. (A stark reality these days!) Someone comes along carrying a pack of toilet paper and hands it to you. He tells you that He has a never-ending supply of His personal brand that is yours any time you want it. All you have to do is ask Him for it. You immediately start thinking of all the people you know who need toilet paper, so you ask Him if they could come ask Him for it, too. He replies, “whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37 NIV). You’d probably tell everyone you knew about this deal!! You’d light up social media with this news!!
Once you got your toilet paper home, you wouldn’t keep it all locked away. That’s not the purpose of toilet paper. When you need it, you have to unwrap it and use it! It does you no good sitting on a shelf!
If you need peace today and can’t seem to find it, try diverting your eyes away from the empty shelves of the world and seek out Jesus. Take the time you’re spending social distancing from others and draw close to Him. James 4:8 promises “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Philippians 4:19 promises “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Once you find God’s peace, tell everyone else where to find it! If you’re active on social media, light it up with this good news! Call, text, email, or write someone a letter encouraging them to find and receive this free gift! God’s peace was never meant to be hoarded! It’s meant to be shared. A broken world is desperate for God’s peace. Will you carry it to them?