“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
“To enter into that intimate relationship where Jesus becomes our Savior is to let Jesus be with us and within us, person to person, on the emotional and volitional levels of our being. It is to respond to the contagion of His presence. It is to let down whatever defenses we have in place so that we come together heart to heart, so that the Spirit in Him touches and resonates with the spirit in us.” ~ Donald Shelby
We all want peace and security. The world can change in an instant. We can find ourselves caught in the midst of nearly impossible situations that we can’t control. We desperately try to create stability and calm in our lives through times of planning and careful decision-making. But life continues to throw us curves and, in fact, everything in our lives can be changed in the blink of an eye.
This can be hard to accept. We are taught to rejoice with the psalmist who proclaims, “The Lord is our keeper!” (Psalm 121:5) We speak, as Saint Paul does, about a peace “that surpasses all understanding” and that “keeps our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) We reflect upon the fact that Christ said, “Let not your hearts be troubled!” (John 14:1) even as He approached the day of His own death – and we hope to find that kind of faith in the midst of our own struggles. And yet, even as people of faith, we have hearts that continue to be stirred by uncertainty – lives that continue to be shaken by change – faith that continues to be rattled by challenges – and hope that continues to be dimmed by an unclear future.
Donald Shelby reminds us that “to enter into that intimate relationship where Jesus becomes our Savior is to let Jesus be with us and within us, person to person,” in every situation. To “know Christ” is to understand that our lives and our futures are safely-secured, and are safely resting in the palm of God’s hand. To “know Christ” is to hear our Lord say, “Peace be with you!” during times of fear and uncertainty. To “know Christ” is to find ourselves saying, “How good it is to be here!” (Matthew 17:4) as we enter into times of prayer and devotion knowing that Christ is profoundly present. To “know Christ” is to find ourselves tearing-down walls and defenses that we’ve built in our lives, so that we can intimately connect with our Lord and discover the sweet, mystical union with God where we find ourselves being swept, heart-to-heart, into the very presence of an Incarnate Love that touches our core and that resonates throughout our entire being. We are loved! We are cherished! And all is well!
“The Lord is our keeper!” (Psalm 121:5) We come to see that Christ wants to intimately connect with us, and bring words of peace and calm as we come to “know Christ” more fully. Christ restores order in the midst of chaos. Christ shines with the light of God’s presence when it’s dark. To “know Christ” is to allow Jesus to rebuke raging storms. (Luke 8:24) To “know Christ” is to allow the presence of God to dwell both with us and within us in every circumstance of life. To “know Christ” is to find ourselves taking a deep breath and calmly letting it out – fully understanding that we are standing in the presence of God during every single moment of life and that, when we are safely resting in God’s hands, all is well.