“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” John 14:27
Not everything inherited is enjoyed. In the garage or attic are keepsakes inherited from relatives. These were their “valuables.” Even now, to open the box is to relive special moments of the past. Memories come alive from the sight or smell of the keepsake.
The problem is we seldom check the keepsake. They have been lost in the trinkets and souvenirs once thought to be so valuable but now just take up space. Some of these valuables are being saved for future generations. The problem is they have never seen them. In years to come, they will sort through our valuables and never know the reason for their worth.
The reason these valuables have been inherited is someone decided to “leave it to us.” While they were alive, they thought of us and considered what they left us as the perfect gift. They want us to remember them whenever we see or hold this gift reserved just for us.
The donor’s goal was never to see this “valuable” reside in the attic or garage. Their goal was for us to enjoy and remember by using what we have been given. Their hope was a continuation of their precious moments lived thru future generations. The last dream they had was that we would haplessly toss and forget what they “left us.”
Jesus left us the gift of peace. For Jesus, peace was a harmony of His relationship with the Heavenly Father. Peace was a spirit of contentment not affected by circumstances or opinion of others. Peace allowed Him to be asleep in the boat amid the storm. Peace allowed Him to confidently face adversity, threat, disaster, or challenge. Jesus was always able to be at ease because He had peace.
It is in the final hours before His death He offers peace to his disciples who are full of despair and trouble because they know what lies ahead. Their circumstances have decimated any hope and joy. In this context, Jesus “leaves them” the one special experience they have enjoyed in His presence. This inheritance, “peace,” is a gift they need to continue in their minds and enjoy in the future.
The gift of peace is not just for the early disciples. It is for all who find confidence and trust in Christ. Even now, the Holy Spirit, guarantees the gift of peace is available. But it is never meant to be stored away for some other day. Peace is meant to be enjoyed every day. Peace is the fruit of our inheritance that proves we are His children. Peace is the confidence to face storms in life and know there is a better day. Peace is knowing that we are always loved. Peace is evidence we have not forgotten the rich heritage is ours because an eternity of blessing has been given to us without cost by the One who owns everything.
Don’t store this gift for a better day. It is meant to be the blessing you need to face today!
Dr. John Temple is chaplain of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office. From the Shepherd's Heart is published Fridays in The Meridian Star.