17 May, Tuesday — Peace Amidst Turmoil

Tuesday of the 5th Week of Eastertide

Acts 14:19-28
Jn 14:27-31

“Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

It always comforts me when I read the passage, “Peace, I give to you, a peace that the world cannot give”. Whenever I feel anxious or troubled, reading this passage soothes my soul every time.

In this life, we all have stresses, anxieties, and troubles. It seems that more anxieties come with the fast-paced world that we live in, and perhaps different ones than our parents or grandparents faced. We try to find many different ways of coping with it all, from exercise to hobbies, from yoga to meditation, from nature walks to adrenalin-filled activities, etc. We try to find an outlet to relieve and release the churning turmoil within ourselves. If you pay close attention, these are but temporary. Once the activity is over, the quietness in our minds and hearts dissipates, the unrest or confusion reigns supreme and comes back with full force.

In contrast, the peace that Jesus offers is so very different from the temporarily relief we get from the world. The peace that Jesus offers is not one of mere distraction. It is a deep flowing river of grace. It doesn’t exhaust us but energises us to face whatever may come because the grace He gives, provides us with deep inner strength.  

These are not empty words. In my many troubled moments where I feel there is no rest for me, I have sat in the Adoration Chapel with our Lord. When I walk in, I am anxious, distressed and perhaps even a little depressed. I lay it all out in front of the Lord and ask Him for guidance, for the peace that only He can provide. I have shed many tears when alone with our Lord and asked for His comforting presence. When I am unclear of which direction and what is the next step, I turn to Him. No. I don’t receive an immediate answer nor any revelation; but I do believe that Jesus hears my prayers and lifts the heavy burden from my shoulders. Sometimes, a quiet voice reminds me of a passage in the Bible. Sometimes, the same quiet voice reminds me that my situation is not as dire as I paint it. Sometimes, a sense of calm comes over me and that everything is going to be just fine. All I have to do is to focus on God and to trust Him without reservation.

When we focus on God instead of all the troubles or the fears, the noises of the world fall away, and all that remains is a sense of peace. The fear of not knowing what the next moment will bring disappears because we know we are loved and will be taken care of. Even if things don’t pan out the way we want them to, God is in control; and He will give us the grace to handle whatever may come our way. The Heavenly Father has our best interests at heart, even if we don’t understand or see it yet.

If you want true peace, lay your burdens at His feet and rest in the Lord.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)

Prayer: Lord of Peace, please grant us the grace to keep our focus on You and Your way. For You are true peace, true joy and true life. Let us not be distracted or misled by the noises of this world that we live in, but help us to attain the interior and ever lasting peace that only You can provide.

Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for being a guiding light in our lives, for providing rest for our minds, hearts and souls when we only come into Your presence and trust in Your love.

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