Love Trumps Trouble
by Jennifer Morgan
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:7 (ESV)
...“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” ~ John 16:33 (NIV)
Trouble. Every time I read this passage, my stomach clenches just a little bit. I don’t like trouble, and I don’t like knowing that it is part of living a life in this world. My spirit, however, leaps and grabs on to the portions of this passage relating to the peace that Christ offers. More than anything, I want this promise of peace in my life when trouble comes.
In the past few months, trouble has come into my life...as effectively as a quiver of arrows aimed directly at the center of my heart. My sister-in-law underwent life-saving surgery, but was left without the use of her legs. Thud. My 83 year old father had emergency appendectomy surgery just after arriving in Maine for our annual vacation. Thud. My father suffered a shoulder injury in a fall during the same vacation. Thud. My beloved teenage nephew in Boise, Idaho took his own life after suffering from depression. Thud. My heart wept as I listened to the inconsolable grief in my brother’s voice on the phone and was not able to wrap him in a sister’s embrace due to the thousands of miles that separated us. Thud. By this time I was on my knees, crying out to God to relieve the pain these arrows were inflicting. And then a miracle happened. The living, breathing Word of God stepped in.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” Faithful to His promise, Jesus lovingly began to dissolve each of these arrows in my heart, filling each hole with His grace and peace. I travelled to visit with my sister-in-law, and was greatly encouraged by her bravery and determination. Peace. My father’s appendectomy surgery was performed without incident and he recovered. Peace. The shoulder injury my father sustained did not require any immediate intervention, and being there with my parents to lend help and support was a blessing. Peace. Our last day of vacation was a stormy, rainy day. That evening, the sun finally emerged and a beautiful rainbow appeared over the ocean. I love you. Very early Sunday morning I boarded my flight to Boise. As we soared westward at 35,000 feet, a breathtaking sunrise fractured the night sky in a brilliant display of fiery orange, red and pink. I made this for you. As I stepped off the plane in Boise, I was able to wrap my beloved brother in my arms. Peace. Finally, an overflowing crowd of nearly 1200 packed the church for my nephew’s memorial service. The atmosphere of love and comfort was supernatural. I am with you always. Of one thing I am absolutely sure ~ Love trumps Trouble.
My heart is at peace and remains tender as it continues to heal from the wounds of these recent arrows. I humbly acknowledge that I have experienced the reality of God’s peace, which truly does surpass all understanding.
Thank you Jennifer Morgan for this guest post. We'd love to hear from other Abingdon Women and we welcome your reflections as well. Find out how you can guest post here. You can also connect with Jenn at her blog.