Just imagine how many things we regret and worry over in a lifetime! Things we did which we shouldn’t have done, things we didn’t do which we should have done. Things we said which we shouldn’t have said, things we didn’t say which we should have said. Rumors we fell prey to. Grudges we held. Forgivenesses we withheld. Judgments we made. Pain we caused. Errors we made. The list is depressingly long. So, enough of that. “Instead of worrying, pray. . . It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Phil. 4:7, MSG). “. . . the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7, NIV). “And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.” (Phil. 4:7, VOICE).

Now try to picture this! Jesus never had a regret or a worry in his lifetime! Not of commissions or of omissions! None! His was, and still is today, a peace that passes all understanding! Are you ready? Now try this on! That same peace is ours! It’s included in our inheritance. It comes with our gift of salvation. That same, beyond any and all human understanding peace is deposited in our hearts and liberally doled out, minute by minute, by the Holy Spirit, whose pleasure it is to be standing watch. “I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift. Peace.” (John 14:27, MSG). “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27, NIV). “My peace is the legacy I leave to you.” (John 14:27, VOICE).

If you’re anything like me, after reading this, you are mustering up a serious, furrowed brow, ‘OK, but . . .’ And it’s here I become aware of my obstinacy, my silly, ill-advised persistence in attempting to engineer my own peace through all manner of coping mechanisms – none of which are worth much. After all efforts have failed, I’m left to confess how shakily I’m standing, hoping against hope that nothing goes wrong (at this point you have the right to ask me how this is working for me).

It makes me think of one of my pastors in Canada. He and his wife tried for years to have children and when they finally had their little girl, they were determined to do everything to make absolutely certain she had an impeccable upbringing, with no lack whatsoever. So, for her first Christmas, they spent a lot of money on the toy all good parents purchased for their children. They planned to tape her excitement but, to their chagrin, she spent her entire play time, giggling and making friends with the box her gift came in, never once paying attention to the gift. They were devastated! Hmm. I wonder if that’s how Jesus feels about our non-use of his gift to us?  PD

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