Have you ever prepared for a trip when things get crazy just before you leave? My husband and I were recently preparing for a trip with just the two of us when, the night before we were scheduled to leave, my seven year-old mentioned his ear “felt funny.” His week-long cold was hanging on, and I began to suspect he was developing a painful ear infection.
The next morning, we were all sitting at the table eating breakfast. Matthew’s cold was still bothering him. While I suspected the pesky ear infection was coming on, he was determined to attend school that day. I checked and there was no fever, so my husband and I decided to let him go. We said our goodbyes and waved as the the school bus drove away. Chris and I loaded up the car then drove to the airport to start our adventure. On the way to the airport I called my mother-in-law, who was going to be the boy’s primary caretaker in our absence. I explained the situation about Matthew’s possible ear infection, then suggested she take him to a walk-in clinic once he returns home from school.
At the end of a long day of traveling, my mother-in-law called to say my son did in fact have an ear infection – in both ears! As we settled in for the night that evening, I noticed I was feeling restless and unsettled. After taking a moment to rest I realized I was feeling anxious about being away from my sons, then I noticed some guilt surfacing about leaving my sons when one of them was sick. I began to lose my peace regarding this trip and started to feel some shame over leaving my mother-in-law with such a heavy load and a sick child while I am out of town for nearly a week.
I knew I needed some of God’s peace and perspective. After quieting for a few minutes, I then took some time to pray. I invited Jesus to meet me in my mounting distress. I then asked Him to remind me of a time I knew He was near. At this point, a surprising thought quickly popped in my mind.
It was a time my youngest son Andrew was 3 months old, and he had to have surgery. At the time I felt very anxious about handing my baby over to the doctors and nurses. I was worried something would go wrong, or that he would be afraid and I wouldn’t be nearby to comfort him. At the time, I sought Immanuel’s peace and He gave me an image that brought me much comfort. The picture was the moment I handed my baby over to the nurse’s waiting arms, only I was actually placing Andrew directly into Jesus’ waiting arms. I sensed that day that Jesus would hold and care for my son during surgery. This picture brought me immense comfort and lasting peace that day. The change was remarkable. My fear quickly dissipated and I was able to rest and breathe easier that day at the hospital.
This was the same image Jesus brought to mind as I was sitting in our hotel room far, far away from my boys. Now I could sense that He was again reminding me that He is caring for my boys. He loves my sons, much more than I could ever imagine. Even though I was miles away from my boys, not only are they in the capable hands of my mother-in-law, but they are also in Jesus’ hands. No matter what happens I can find peace and comfort in His Presence.
This reminder was just what I needed. At this point I felt my thoughts calm down, and my body began to relax. I noticed a smile breaking out on my face. I thanked Jesus for meeting me in my fear and for quieting my anxious thoughts. I quickly drifted off to sleep feeling confident my boys were safely in Immanuel’s hands.
All of us have things that rob our peace. No matter what is causing you to feel troubled or anxious, if something is robbing your peace, this is a good time to interact with Immanuel, the Prince of Peace. I hope and pray you will take some time to catch your breath, feel appreciation then interact with Immanuel about what your heart needs today.