I am not a man of peace. I can get frantic with the best of them. Too much to do. Not enough going right. Details to oversee and outcomes to control. Life is about crisis management and I am an A-1 crisis kind of guy. (Most of the crises I manage are of my own creation.)
Sometimes, in all too rare moments of supernatural intervention, the Holy Spirit slips in and whispers “Peace.” What a breath! What a transformational fragrance! How quietly and gently amazing that the God of the universe stands up to the edge of heaven, puts His cosmic finger to His omnipotent lips and says, “Shhhhh! Peace.”
I remember the blind man on the edge of Jericho trying to shout down the crowd as Jesus was passing through. “Jesus, Son of David. Have mercy on me. Jesus, son of David, HAVE MERCY ON ME.” The gospel writer says the crowd told him to be quiet. “Jesus is busy. A lot of people need help. This really isn’t a good time.” But old blind Bartemaeus keeps yelling. “Hey Jesus, What about me?”
Now, it isn’t the best time. There’s a crowd. Jesus is actually on His way to Jerusalem and the cross. He has a lot on His mind and His own crisis to manage but the Bible says, “Jesus stood still.” Do you get that? The One who flung the stars into space and said to the waves, “You can go this far,” the Jesus that John said was the Word that God used to say, “Let there be…and there was,” that Jesus stops, gets still, raises His hand and like a scene from the Matrix, the noise ceases, the crowd freezes, the angels halt all activity, and He turns His face to Bart and asks, “What can I do for you?”
Today is the countdown to Simply Free. We have planned for a year, prayed for four. We have had meetings, formed committees, made assignments, sent out emails, and still we feel the pressure piling up. Stuff remains to do. Last minute decisions. Details to work out. One of the speakers is sick. The Sheriff needs to check out the facility (a number of ladies are allowed to come from the prison), the sound guy has never meet the video person….stuff.
And if that isn’t the half of it. There are the spiritual attacks. One of the video testimonies is so powerful and on the way home from filming she had a wreck. The airline reservations of one of the breakout leaders just got fouled up. My daughter-in-law is sick, my lawnmower won’t start, the family needs prayer….more and more stuff. All of this seems designed to make me hit the frantic button, pick up the pace, turn on more activity, take charge, get in control, move. If I remember I am shouting over the crowd, “Jesus, have mercy on me.”
You know what? He listens. He stops and listens. This morning in my quiet time the Holy Spirit said, “Shhhhh. Be still. I’m going to take care of everything.” Romans 8:27 says, “He who searches the heart knows what the mind of the Spirit is. And He makes intercession for us according to the purposes of God.” In other word, the Spirit Himself will reconcile my frantic activity with the very purposes of God. He will line me up with what God is trying to do and let peace happen. And then, when that happens, Paul says, “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called to do His will.” (Romans 8:28)
I don’t know what Simply Free is supposed to be exactly, but God does. I am not sure of who is supposed to be there and what is supposed to happen to them, but God does. I don’t know how it is going to turn out (or should turn out) but God does. No amount of hustle and bustle or hurried activity is going to make God’s plan come to pass that come to pass. But He will. I am very sure right now that the God of the universe has stopped, quieted all of heaven, and said, “Let’s take charge of this thing.”
You know what that does for me? It brings me peace. It helps me to let go, to slow down, to get quiet, and to hear Him say, “Peace.” When I understand that He is listening to me then I can quit yelling so loud. I can stop running so fast. I can look at myself in the mirror and say, “Shhhhhh. Peace.” Man does that feel good!