Okay. Before we begin the topic of this article, there is a little housekeeping that needs to be covered. I am not talking about anything you or I have or haven’t done. I am referring to a piece of understanding that we need to ensure is clear in our minds. To introduce this topic, I have a brief situational analysis:
Say the elementary school folks are trying to get a handle on the speed limits frantic parents are using when dropping off their kids at school. Perhaps the culprits aren’t the parents at all. Maybe it is the local community members trying to get to work or elsewhere. They go blazing through the school zone at excessive speeds. Administrators put up signs, engage crossing guards with red flags, and, on occasion, employ a traffic officer with his speed gun, siren, and intimidating flashing lights. These work pretty well, but on occasion—infrequently as it may be—these preclusions fail to prevent a speeding car. But simply put a speed bump in the road; problem solved. The speed bump becomes a mechanism that guarantees compliance and the desired outcome. There are other examples, but that should suffice.
The term “covered” is used in many different circumstances. When friends get together to participate in an activity, one might hear another unprepared with sufficient funds ask “Can you cover me?” Certainly we have all heard this term used to describe protection when we deflect rain or pain (umbrella, hard hat). I have used the term like this as well, and so have you.
Today, I want to describe a time and situation when all of these terms are relevant and pertinent.
We have all heard about the recent Mexico massacre that dominated the air waves, but that’s not all—we hear frequently about election results, economic instability, impeachment proceedings, risk, misery index, and fear. Vices of our day are scary and confusing. Are you feeling it?
Perhaps you have been thinking about how you are going to protect your family during these tumultuous times. Surely you are not the only one that has spent restless nights trying to figure out how you will successfully accomplish all this. Should this alarm you?
Physical dangers are evident, spiritual vices are rampant, emotional challenges and fears are almost overwhelming. Can we really have peace in Christ? I would like to discuss that promise and how it may apply to our individual lives today.
When I was young, I remember reading about the ascension of Jesus Christ. His eleven apostles were tasked with leading the burgeoning church without Him since He would return to His Father in Heaven. Do you remember the event? Perhaps I am reading between the lines, but I imagine the apostles were very concerned. Branches of this thriving church were appearing all over the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Israel. I tried to use my words carefully, but according to the New Testament Teacher Manual, the young church was flourishing. Can you imagine how the apostles were feeling about this growth?
So what did Jesus do to comfort these concerned apostles as He was leaving them? He promised them peace. Now I have to admit, in my youthful fancy, I probably responded with something like, “He promised them peace? That’s it? These barely called, brand new apostles who themselves are just coming to understand the gospel are given peace now that they are tasked with singlehandedly taking the reins of the Church, which is exploding onto the scene. That’s it?” I was underwhelmed, to say the least. But I have come to regret my lack of foresight. I realize now the power in peace. Regardless of what is going on in the world, in our families, or in our hearts and minds, if we can have peace, that’s everything. We can be happy, calm, collected, and content in the midst of chaos, hardship, grief, or even danger. How is that possible?
The amazing thing is that He didn’t stop there. He also promised his disciples the second Comforter. And there again, I was not able to realize then the impact of this gift of comfort and peace, but I do not make the same mistake today. These Comforters keep me going during times of difficulty.
Warnings of these times have been predicted for millennia.
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Despite the evil that surrounds us, the Lord has not forsaken us, but provides many mechanisms to help us reach our potential, nudging our righteous desires within our grasp. He does it with effective mechanisms that enable us to live and qualify for the reward He has already won for us. Jesus Christ is victorious. As we align ourselves with Him, so are we.
How do we accomplish this? We stay close to the gospel of Jesus Christ, remain on the straight and narrow, and hold fast to the rod of iron the Savior has provided for our security and protection.
Our love for Jesus Christ is our mechanism to live our lives with hope and successfully return to His presence for an eternal reward of happiness with our families and loved ones.
Regardless of our situation, our challenges are not and never will be beyond the redeeming influence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
That has to be one reason we celebrate Christmas Day and continue to have joy and peace every day.
It is really as simple as that.
Jesus Christ paid a debt he didn’t owe, because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.