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 ESV
Last week we talked about having God’s peace in the storm. But we also need peace after a storm has passed. When things are calm and quiet we find the damage that the storm has left behind. Here in Florida today that means assessing damage, reopening roads so supplies can get in and beginning the very long road towards rebuilding.
Divorce, disability and death just to name a few of our spiritual storms also leave behind a wake of destruction. In those long weeks, months and years as we are being rebuilt, God will never leave us alone, but will join us in the work of restoration. If that is you this morning, listen carefully to the verse of this new rendering of a wonderful old hymn. “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay!” In that moment when our hearts fail us. When we survey the devastation after the storm, we can rest assured that the Carpenter of Galilee will take up His tools and rebuild us again according to His perfect blueprint!
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4 KJV
Often, I have taken this to simply mean that, if I make God my greatest desire, then He will give me anything else that I want. While this may be partly true, it misses the beauty which another translation reveals when it says, “Let your happiness be in the Lord”. In other words, when, the Lord is our greatest delight and happiness, then He makes a way for us to find Him!
Picture a young couple in love. One evening at a fancy restaurant, the man puts his plan into motion. After enjoying a delicious dinner and once the waiter has cleared the table, he falls to his knees, pulls a diamond ring from his pocket, and with tears streaming down his face he publicly proposes to the love of his life. At that moment, he has made her, his greatest delight. Now, hopefully, the lovely young lady responds with a joyful yes, and seeing that touching moment and the other diners erupt into applause. Yet our young friend has not yet reached his goal. Instead, plans are set in motion, invitations must be sent, a hall rented, and a date agreed upon by their parents, pastor and families. By faith, both of these people in our story are incredibly happy as they anticipate their wedding, But, when that day arrives, they will say their vows, exchange rings, kiss and walk out of the church for the first time as husband and wife.
Their joy is just a tiny picture of all that God has in store for us. For of course, Jesus is the groom in our story. He has publicly displayed His love, not at a 5-star restaurant, but on the cross. He has fallen to His knees, washed our feet and pledged all He is and all He has to us for all eternity. If we will say yes, then plans will be put into motion, guests invited, and a date set on which will be joined together forever. In our daily lives, we have a joy, because we trust that He is a good and loving God. He is our most valuable treasure and the ultimate love of our lives. Even better than this, we eagerly look forward to when all we have longed for will come to pass. Vows will be fulfilled, and a celebration like no other will happen on that day at His side when He will fully grant us the desires of our hearts!