Panic or Peace
Toilet Paper. I’ve got mine. In fact, I do have more than one package. When my bi-weekly shopping trip found the shelf bare, I panicked. So the next day I took my mom shopping... and I bought two packages. Those shelves were almost empty, too. But did I think of you when I took two? (Picture my head hanging in shame as I respond, No...I did not.)
Instead my thoughts were many … What if I won’t find toilet paper again? We need it, right? And not just any toilet paper, we need the soft to the touch, quilted and fluffy kind! Thus, the toilet paper drama of 2020 continues! One hundred years from now people won’t understand, but today, toilet paper is making the news.
As I laid in bed this morning, waking up with Jesus, I felt like I heard him speak about the current events - the fear and panic that people are feeling - and he brought me back to the Israelites.
Freed from slavery, having crossed the Red Sea on dry land, the Egyptians were hot on their heels. But as soon as all of the Israelites were safely upon the banks of the river, the waters flooded back over the dry ground and drowned those Egyptians. That was just one of the miracles they had recently experienced. Not only did the plagues of frogs, gnats, flies, boils, sores, and finally death not touch those whom the Lord protected, they were led by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night.
As the story continues, the Israelites find themselves hungry in the wilderness. Had they quickly forgotten their God who led them? The Bible says they murmured against God. What did God do with their heart cries? He sent his own heavenly food, Manna, to them. Every morning, they had as much as they needed for the day. In fact, when they tried to store some up for the next day, it got smelly and filled with worms.
Quails at night. Manna each morning. God provided.
We can learn from their story, even today. When the world is spewing fear, panic, hopelessness and despair, as God’s children we can be the peace -- the calm in the storm.
I admit that sometimes I get caught up in the panic. Sometimes I lay awake at night with my head swirling with the latest news. But then I talk to Jesus, and he brings me back to peace.
“Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
When the chaos of the world starts to pull me into crazy, I stop and listen for God’s voice. In the early morning hours before I’m up and ready to face the world, we talk. In those moments, God hears my crazy and he fills my heart with peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding. I call that Philippians 4:7 peace. Peace that only God can give.
Jesus mentions 'peace' twice in in John chapter 1. That means the message is important. God doesn’t want us to be overcome by fear and worry. He wants us to show the world a different message. One of hope. One that speaks life.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Friends, may I offer you a word today? Peace. It’s found in HIM. When we seek his face, talk to him, and read his Word; it allows him into our hearts. He wants to be the fire and cloud that you follow. He wants you to trust in him (and not just for toilet paper). He wants to fill your heart with his perfect peace.
Reflection / Journal Questions
Has covid-19 impacted you spiritually?
Do you find yourself talking with God daily or are you filled with grief or worry instead? If so, consider praying this prayer out loud:
Dear Lord, I ask for your peace - Philippians 4 peace - peace that surpasses all understanding! When our world is put on hold, when it’s changing day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, I know that your love is steadfast. You are the calm in the storm, the light in the darkness, the hope of the world. I know this. I believe this. Let me not be afraid or troubled. Increase my faith, I pray. In your precious name, Jesus. Amen.
Cindy and her husband, Mike, have been married for over 40 years and have 4 children and 12 grandchildren! She enjoys spending time with family, camping, writing, studying God’s Word, and being creative at her job as a high school data management secretary. She has a passion to see women grow in their faith and encourage each other.