One of the greatest lessons we are learning is the idea of living at peace. John 14:27, “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.” No matter what situation or circumstance you find yourself in. No matter what authority that is over you, or people that are around you. Through the Holy Spirit peace has been given to us through belief and submission to Jesus. We cannot find true peace in the world. We cannot find true peace through comforts of the world. We may find a bit of rest, but never true peace and contentment. Those can be only found when we submit to God completely. When he becomes our comforter, our provider, our place of rest, and our hiding place peace falls upon us (Ps. 61:1-4,68:9-10, 91:1-4; Matt 6:25-34).
The experience we have had and the covering of peace we have felt is an expression of God's love. It is because of that very love we are learning to experience, feel, and see around the world where His love is although it may not seem to exist. It is because of God and his love that we are experiencing his peace in all situations. Because of God’s love we are discovering and harnessing the peace of God as we face (past, present, and future) circumstances where peace and love seem to be fair from reality.
The experience of love and feeling of peace has come personally to our family as we realize what resides in us. We speak of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but do we truly believe and/or understand that the very essence of God (1 John 4:8) lives in us. Due to our belief in Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit who resides in our “hearts” the very power that raised Christ from the dead, that created the world, and that transforms nations rests in us. Of course, this power is limited because we are not God, but it still resides in are being because the Holy Spirit is alive in us. As we recognize and learn to release the Spirit in us our understanding and experience of God’s love and peace grows exponentially.
A taste of understanding and experience of God’s love and peace came to me (Türe) in many ways. One specific moment came when I hand a paintbrush in hand covering a wall with a sky blue paint. Our team was serving a boys correctional home not too far from our homestead. What was amazing is how few people knew this facility existed in their backyard. Down a path of overgrowth, rusting vehicles, and a overrunning of street dogs was the gate into the correctional home. When walking in you are greeted by smiling faces ranging from 6-18 years old. Our team spent the days doing medical checks, drawing with the kids, jump roping, and painting and cleaning the hospital.
In the short time we was there I was faced with the dreary reality of the boys. This reality consisted of what I would consider survival of the fittest. There was barely enough food to survive on, a living situation that was shaped by a facility virtually uncared for and has the appearance of being at least 50 year old, as well as rampant physical and sexual abuse. Out of one hundred children 25% were sexually active with others in the prison. Please remember the age range was 6-18 year old. Much of the physical and sexual abuse experienced seemed to fall upon the younger boys. The hospital building held 8 beds. The walls were on par with the look the facility. The bedding was dirty and old, the toilets and bathing rooms (no showers just a faucets) were filthy, and the walls were flaking apart while the original paint grew more grim by the moment. As I stood there scrubbing and washing the walls, with a break every so often to jump rope with the kids, the reality of the situation the boys found themselves in grew more overwhelming. When we began painting I found myself asking God “Where is your love in this place?” I could not help but wrestle with God asking Him why His hand of protection was not there, especially for the young boys whose life are being shaped by the abuse many of them succumb to with no sense of nurturing and emotional care. With one question or conversation with God I was hit with a quick response. Where was God’s love? It was with me as I stood with a paint brush in my hand. Where was his love? It was in the medical attention being provided by the nurses in our group. His love was shown in our prayers, time drawing with the kids, jump roping, and simply our attention. At that moment I was faced with a reality that God is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere all the time. This is something I have always known. However, I had forgotten that God has chosen to work through the obedience of his greatest creation – Man. His love is shown where His people are. His love was present because we (I) were obedient, and brought our family half way around the world in order for the love of God to be experienced.
In that moment I understand and learned more about his love than I have in quite a while. In that moment I understood what peace was. It is basking in the presence of God. It is being obedient when He calls. It is to know and believe with everything I have that God’s presences rests in me, and all people who truly believe in Christ. It is also about knowing and believing God is sovereign even if a situation and circumstance seems overwhelming.
I got a taste of God’s love and a peace in a new way in that moment as I stood painting a dilapidated wall and wrestling with God. Although the situation and reality the boy’s face day and night is nothing short of heartbreaking in the every sense, God continues to show up because He is love (1 John 4:8), and because His people listen. In order to keep this taste of love and peace alive I must claim and recognize the truth of Scripture every day and every moment. In those few days and with the few moments we had God’s love rained down upon that place. His love will continue to do so because we were his hands, and we will continue to pray.
As this post comes to an end please know that I described one moment that provided an avenue for significant understanding for me and my family. We are excited and full of passion to share with you many more stories and overwhelming life changing truths. Please keep your eyes and ears open to join us to so you may be blessed by God, and see how many of your prayers and gifts have left a kingdom ripple.