I Looked all Through the Forests Deep

I looked all through the forests deep
Over hills through rushing streams
Until sunset I searched on
For peace I’d glimpsed in dreams

Till in complete exhaustion
I sat down to catch my breath
Just then I heard the gentle voice
Of Christ calling me to rest

And when I turned to look at Him
He showed His hands with wounds
And invited me to touch those scars
Where nails had pierced Him through

Then in worship I fell down
For suddenly I knew
That His peace for which I’d searched
 He would give me all night through

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

I Looked All Through the Forests Deep
by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright © 2023 all rights reserved

Peace After the Storm

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!

Hurricane Peace

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

Though we lost power last night at around 7 pm, we made it through the night safe and sound. It’s funny how without lights or television that we were able to get to sleep early with no problems! Rather than being a fearful situation it was actually kind of peaceful. Of course we spent the time to text our kids and keep our close friends updated but then we just packed all our essential food in our big cooler with lots of icepacks and went to bed. Thank God also for our Youversion app on our phones that allowed us to read our Bibles in the dark, before praying and then peacefully drifting off to sleep.

Yes, Jesus left us peace…His peace and He adds to the promise a challenge. That is to not let our hearts be troubled. Notice, He gives the peace unconditionally, but He tells us that it is our job to manage our emotions. He will keep us always safely in His hands…no strings attached….but for us to enjoy the full benefit of His gift our part is to guard against fear. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled!” Like the command that stills winds and waves (and we had plenty in Florida yesterday!), the words of Jesus will calm our hearts. He has promised that when we ask, seek and knock, that He will give us all we need. Now Jesus is asking, seeking and knocking at our hearts. We mustn’t allow fear to keep the door bolted! If we just trust the voice that is asking for us to open, if we allow the one who is seeking after us to find us and when we open our door, He has promised that His peace will carry us through whatever Hurricane is shaking our world. Now that’s a peace we can use, not only in hurricanes but every day in everything we face. Have a blessed day all. Now if I could just find a way to make coffee!