What does true peace look like?
In the past months, we have been tossed life a leaf in a hurricane. Fear and anxiety are fed to us on a daily basis and we consume it like chocolate. Instead of turning to God for His promised peace, we sit with our eyes glued to the news on tv, and morbidly drink doom and gloom until we can think of nothing else. Why?
My family has been lucky to listen to our Pastor each Sunday and Wednesday on U-tube and Facebook live. After putting the first three lectures for the “Dancing in the Storm” series, I was able to tell Rev. Kenny Martin that I could appreciate his difficulty in standing before an empty church and bringing a spirit-filled message to his congregation. Without the facial expressions of your audience as feedback, it can be very challenging to instill the emotion you desire to share.
As I write this, Georgia communities have begun to slowly re-open. Our church has finally opened again. There are many rules about entering and leaving the sanctuary. Rules about distancing in seating. Everyone cannot fit in the church and the overflow can go to the Family Life Center. Those who are at risk or who do not feel safe can still watch from home.
My family continues to watch from home. Although watching in one’s PJs and being able to run to the bathroom when needed are a comfortable way to "attend" church services, it is not the reason. It is because my son, Jim, is terrified of the Corona Virus.
Jim is 32 Years old. He is autistic and he takes anxiety medication. If you are familiar with autism, you know that outside stimulus such as noise or light can cause a melt down. Small crowds can be too much.
Jim is an awesome person. God uses him in so many ways. At church, he loves working with the kids. The main sanctuary or large crowd can sometimes get to him. The Pastor told him to stand up and recite John 3:16 (Jim’s favorite verse) anytime he feels overwhelmed.
I need you to know that Jim is deeply anxious about the Corona Virus. Why? He worries about each person that dies and whether they knew Christ as their Savior. What a world it would be if we all had this love!
Jim is also afraid of catching the virus. You might be surprised to know that this is not for himself. No. Jim is afraid that he could catch it and give it to someone else and cause them to die. He is afraid he might give it to someone in his family, in his church, or to perfect strangers.
After prayer, we decided to give our church time to work out the kinks in the new way of attending services, before exposing Jim to the crowd.
Jim finds peace through spending time with his rescue dog, Arizona Sun. Some days he gardens, some days he spends in his room on his laptop researching for his next animal book for kids. Some days, he is calm and happy, his face lit with that special smile. Some days he is beligerent and I want to scream in frustration.
Everyday, Jim teaches me. Each day he prays for family and friends and the end of virus which he calls the “Satan thing.” Jim prays in the innocent trust of a child that God answers his prayers. He BELIEVES God answers prayers. Because, even through his anxiety, he has perfect peace that our God loves us, heals us, and is total control of the universe.
I am an avid King James Person. However, I study different translations on Bible Gateway. I especially like the Amplified Bible's translation of Isaiah 26:3.
This verse perfectly describes Jim and His faith. He trusts God and has "confident expectation" that God will answer His prayers.
That, my friends, is the TRUE PEACE of GOD!
Kim Marie Johnson
Marie is an ordained minister. She is an author, artist, and designer. Marie enjoys teaching and speaking. Most important to her are her relationship with God, her three children and five grandchildren who inspire her every second of every day.