Picture this: Christmas morning, you wake up, make a cup of coffee (or tea), and everyone gathers around the tree to open up gifts.
You're SO excited, because you wrapped up the PERFECT gift for your kid. They've been begging you for this over and over again, sometimes with tears in their eyes, for MONTHS.
As the pile of presents grows smaller and smaller with each gift opened, you see that shiny, beautifully wrapped, ribbon-laden box with the tag that has your child's name on it.
They reach for it, and you hold your breath as they tear off the paper and open the lid to see what's inside.
Overwhelming joy rushes out of them as they thank you and hug you and thank you some more. You can't help but feel like Best Mom In the Universe!
The next day, you notice the box is still there, with the gift still inside. A week later, it hasn't been touched or moved.
A month later, your kid comes to you with tears, begging for this one gift again. You remind them that you've already given it to them, and their response is, "But...I keep forgetting it's there, and when I remember, the instructions just seem too difficult!"
And this amazing gift sits unused, because your child has made the choice to not take hold of it.
This, my sweet friend, is what we often do with Jesus' gift of PEACE.
In John 14:27, Jesus says, "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."
We beg Him for it, with tears in our eyes. He hands it to us in a shiny package called the Bible, wrapped in the Holy Spirit, and we leave it to sit unused.
Does that sound familiar to you, even just a little bit?
Yes, His peace comes with instructions, but they are clearly laid out for us and simple to follow.
Not easy - sometimes it's much easier to NOT follow them. Which is probably why we make the choice to ignore them, and then His peace sits unused yet again. But friend, that is OUR choice. God isn't taking that gift back, or hiding it from us. It's sitting right where we left it; we're just making the choice to ignore it and His instructions.
If you struggle with feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, worry, helplessness, hopelessness, or anything like those, please know that Jesus has already given you His peace. It is YOURS. It cannot be taken away from you. You can choose to ignore it, or you can choose to read the instructions and learn how to use it. But the gift is YOURS and the choice is YOURS.
I would be honored to talk more about this with you and pray with you. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!
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