• Pastor Stephan Hurkens

The Peace of Being in His Presence

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you. ” John 20:21

Peter Marshall, tells a story of a young German soldier in a dirty, blood-stained uniform standing on the firing step of a trench in World War I. It was an early summer afternoon and the battlefield was quiet. The young soldier had a wistful, faraway expression on his face. Suddenly a butterfly fluttered into view and alighted on the ground almost at the end of his rifle. This was a strange visitor to a battleground, so out of place. But there it was, a gorgeous creature with wings like gold splashed with carmine swaying in the warm breath of spring.

As the war-weary young man watched the butterfly, he was no longer a private in a field-gray uniform. He was a boy once more, fresh and clean, swinging through a field in sunny Saxony, knee-deep in clover, buttercups and daisies. That strange visitor to the front-line trench recalled to him the joys of his boyhood, when he had collected butterflies. It spoke to him of days of peace. It was a symbol of the lovelier things of life. The emblem of the eternal, a reminder that there was still beauty and peace in the world.

He forgot the enemy a few hundred yards across no man’s land. He forgot the danger and deprivation and suffering. He forgot everything as he watched that butterfly.

This is how the disciples must have felt when Jesus appeared to them. They were behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Suddenly, Jesus appears in their midst and says to them “Peace be with you.”

In the midst of life and all its instabilities, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the One who promises to give us a peace that the world cannot give. Because of salvation that has been obtained for us by His death on the cross we too can ponder on the beautiful things in life, despite what the world tries to tell us.

Be encouraged today, as you take time to think on all the beautiful things in life. The sunshine, the variety of birds whom God feeds and all the beautiful realities of life. Enjoy.

Jesus says to you and I today, “Peace be with you.”

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