Day 8

Peace Be With You

from the Peace Be With You reading plan


John 20:19-23, Genesis 2:4-7, Galatians 5:16-26

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Text: John 20:19-23, Genesis 2:4-7, Galatians 5:16-26

After saying this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
– John 20:22, HCSB

There are people who are afraid of elevators because they are scared they may get stuck inside, and there are people who are afraid of elevators because they have been stuck inside. I’m part of the second group and certainly not proud of it.

It was a smoldering summer day in Columbia, South Carolina—endearingly referred to as the “Famously Hot” city, not-so-endearingly known as the armpit of the South. I was a hopeful, bright-eyed high school senior in a tour group of students who would soon become my peers on a campus I would one day call my own. As we approached a residence hall, all 14 of us (I would have a lot of time to count them in the near future) piled into the elevator, scrunching to make room for the last person as the tour guide politely “volunteered” to take the stairs. The doors closed, and the elevator moved a few inches before coming to a halt. We anxiously eyed one another, acknowledging the loss of personal space and the beads of sweat forming on our foreheads.

The previously composed girl wearing white high heels and standing behind me began to gasp for air. She was hyperventilating into my hair as I stood, unable to escape. We all became acutely aware of the rapidly decreasing person-to-fresh-air ratio.

I had never been so conscious of my breathing as I was in that moment.

When we would finally be rescued almost an hour later (I know, but I’ll spare you the details!), I remember barging past all the concerned university officials to take my first deep gulp of refreshing, untouched air.

When Jesus is speaking some of His last words to the disciples, they were in an even more tense situation, hiding behind locked doors from the Jews. He says to them, “Peace be with you,” which is not a kind word of comfort but a promise, because peace would soon be upon them, keeping them company in the form of the Holy Spirit.

And then Jesus does the most beautiful thing. He BREATHES the Holy Spirit into the disciples.

Just this time, let’s not jump to the fruit of the Spirit and consider the Holy Spirit Himself in terms of this initial breath. Could it be that Jesus is teaching us about Himself and the Spirit through the means He uses to transfer it?

After all, the Lord initially breathed the breath of life into our nostrils (Genesis 2:4-7). And as Jesus sends the disciples, I can’t help but to notice His words align with the natural rhythms of breath.

Inhale. We can celebrate because peace is no longer near or far but WITH us. It has been breathed into our souls!

But breathing isn’t just a one-way street. Our lives are not sustained by the holding of breath.

Exhale. We take this peace that is with us into the world! As Matthew Henry writes, “Christ was now sending the disciples to publish peace to the world (Isa. 52:7)”.

As Jesus issues peace to us, we have the privilege of issuing it to the world around us. Like a breath of fresh air in an oxygen-starved room is the peace of Christ, His gift to us.

Kaitlin Wernet is a Carolina girl who now plants her feet in Tennessee as the Community Coordinator for She Reads Truth. Each day, she excitedly celebrates grace with her SRT sisters while attempting to tame her curly hair and avoid parallel parking.

 

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Post Comments (88)

88 thoughts on "Peace Be With You"

  1. Emily says:

    Today my friend who is battling colon cancer, goes into surgery at 7:30am (eastern time) to have a portion of her colon removed along with a full hysterectomy. How fitting this devotion was today, as I struggle with peace and try to encourage her as well! Please keep her in your prayers today!!

    1. Alexandra says:

      Emily, thank you for sharing what your friend is about to walk through. I will join you today in praying throughout the day for the surgery, for the peace, for healing for your friend. I also pray that the Holy Spirit does what He does best–counseling and uplifting you both in this difficult time.

      1. Emily says:

        Thank you so much for praying, Alexandra! The cancerous tumor in her colon was removed completely and the hysterectomy was a success! She has 4 weeks of healing before an intense round of chemo to kill the 5 lesions on her lungs. Praying for her strength during this time and level of comfort for her with her colostomy bag. I know she is very squeamish about it. God is good and faithful to answer prayers! I see His faithfulness again and again!

    2. Sooz says:

      I will pray for you both!

  2. Kasey Tuggle says:

    **Steal not still^^**

  3. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Jesus is our peace!! Always and forever! I always say no one can still my Jesus joy and the same is true about my Jesus peace! No one can still it! Sometimes when people we love do hurtful things to us, it brings us down. And it just hurts because you have done nothing against them it’s just because of their insecurities. It still hurts because you love that friend… But, Jesus joy and Jesus peace are unchangeable. I cannot control what others do. But I can control how I react to the situation. And my job as a follower of Christ is to use every circumstance in my life to further my Savior’s Kingdom. To live is Christ. To die is gain. His peace never falters. Thankful for Jesus. He is constant.

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