He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
- Ephesians 2:17
One Sunday morning a little over three years ago, in an old blue pew, my life didn’t change at all.
I was sitting beside my husband, listening to a message about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. At the end of the message, I walked downstairs to the children's area and picked up the same three kids I’d dropped off an hour before. I went home and cooked the meal I’d planned earlier that morning, I worried about the bills I’d opened the day before, and I prepared for the upcoming week like I did on every Sunday.
I don’t want to oversimplify what I experienced in that old blue pew. It was the most impactful event of my life, the moment that I became a Christian. That Sunday morning, I was brought to tears by the message of Christ’s sacrifice. After years of hearing the “story”, I finally realized the truth and weight of it. I somehow understood that it wasn’t just a story to tell on Christmas and Easter but a gift that Jesus was holding out for me. That Sunday morning, I accepted the "gift" of Jesus and began a journey down the most incredible path I’ve ever walked.
But, all the external circumstances of my life looked pretty much the same as always... until they didn't. Those circumstances turned from average to terrible in nine short months. On a Sunday morning, nine months later, I watched that same Pastor preach. Only this time I wasn't in that old blue pew, I watched online in a hospital room, having just found out my 21 month old daughter had Leukemia. My life was completely turned upside down and filled with uncertainty.
But, in the midst of such hardship, Jesus was there for me. Through our painful battle, God weaved a beautiful thread of truth into my heart: peace comes from being near Christ. And, regardless of the circumstances, when we trust completely in Jesus, our unshakable Savior, we can be filled with an other-worldly peace that is beyond understanding. Jesus came at just the right time to be my Protector through the battle.
On that Sunday morning a little over three years ago, in an old blue pew, my life didn’t change at all. My heart did. And, that has made all the difference.
How does knowing Jesus "make all the difference" in your life?
How has Jesus been a "Protector" for you when things were hard? How can you let him be your "Protector" right now?
Hear more of Hailey's story on our podcast. She shares more about how she came to know the peace of Jesus and how his peace has been instrumental in her daughter's battle with cancer.