“And came and preached peace to you which were afar off,
and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. ” Ephesians 2: 17-18
From head to toe my three sisters and I were covered in a thick layer of mud.
It was only a few days after my eldest sister’s funeral. The only thought my sister Noelle had a few hours previously when she told us to get on old clothes and come with her, was that she wanted all of us to be together doing something spontaneous and light-hearted. The result? A lot of laughter at what jumping into a gigantic mud hole will do to your appearance. I was laughing as well, but there was also a familiar nagging in the back of my mind that kept me from fully joining in, asking me, “Now what? What’s next, and will you be ready for it?” This unrest could be attributed to the fact that it had been an emotional past few months for my family, but it was as if a light went on at that moment, and another question was allowed to push through. It was gentle but firm, “Abby, when is the last time you really felt peace in your life? Not just in this mud hole adventure, but in all circumstances that have come your way so far?” Thinking back, I realized that peace had been absent from my life for some time. When had anxiety and fear become such a constant part of it?
This realization opened a door for Jesus to begin “preaching peace” to me. Me, one who had known about Him for a long time and realized my need for Him as my Savior as a young child. This message of peace was not only for those who didn’t know Him as their Savior, but it was a message for me as well. This is the message of peace that He preached to me:
You are My child. I love you. Nothing can separate you from My love. I’m unchanging. Everything that I AM is good, and I always have good things in store for you. However, it is your choice to believe this, to accept the gospel of Peace that I have for you. This Peace can always be yours. In trials, in persecutions, and even in the seemingly simple things in your life, I can be your Peace.
As these words penetrated my heart over the next several months, I realized how clouded my thinking had become. Vs.18 says, “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” Through Jesus the access to these truths were always mine. However, His voice became dim under the weight of the lies that I was allowing in my life. These lies gave way to the underlying fear and unrest that infiltrated everything that I did.
What did playing in the mud teach me? Somewhere in the middle of it, a door was opened for the message of Peace to be heard. It was a doorway that led me on a journey of realizing that it is not enough to “know” about all the things we have as sons and daughters of God. We need to accept it. Much like we accepted Him as our Savior for our sins. We need to have simple faith to believe that He is who He says He is. At this time in my life I needed to know that He was Peace and not only know about it, but believe it.