There’s a tension in the Christian journey that seems to be an oft-abandoned tight rope to walk – especially in our corner of the world. The tension lies between living urgently on one side – living with the coming of Jesus before us and all that surrounds – and on the other, the idea of living peacefully and without fear or anxiety.
Somehow we put these two at odds.
On one side are all the exhortations of Jesus to watch and pray, to be alert and not asleep for the Day is soon. On the other side is the understanding that we are to live in a peace that passes understanding, to be anxious about nothing and to not fear.
These two sides, if not wrestled through, seem so at odds that few seek to marry them. Most evade the struggle, and if one side is first to go, it’s the urgency. We reason,
Isn’t it better to be peaceful? Better to be worry-free? Better to not fear??
And at that thought, the comforts and alleged safety of our circumstances in the West move close to masquerade our rationalizing as wisdom. Comfort can so effortlessly couch half-truths.
But we must be careful.
Preparing our Children in Truth
Are things okay? Are we without crisis ahead, even presently? The daily news has answers even if we’re unwilling to recognize it.
I’ve much to teach my children, much I want to instill in their little hearts, much I want them to know of the Lord, of His Word, and of reality. Living free of fear and experiencing the peace that passes understanding in Christ are some of them.
Yet my foot finds the tightrope, as I also want to prepare them, equip their hearts and undergird their souls with a love sharpened by readiness, alertness, and vigilance…that they would overcoming fear with love (1 Jn. 4:18; 2 Tim. 1:7).
The voices of the day speak much of one side of the tight rope, the peace, the living and abiding free from anxiety. The peace that passes understanding. And all are true.
Yet there is more.
The words of Jesus come to mind. Of the days preceding His Coming, He urged,
“Take heed. Watch and pray. Be alert. Be awake. Pray always.” (Matt. 25: 13; Mk. 13:33; Lk. 21:36)
Jesus did not say, “Just be at peace and don’t worry about those days ahead.” True, He told us not to worry about tomorrow (Matt. 6:25), yet such beckoning toward urgent prayer and watchfulness did not equal worry to Him. He called it wisdom.
Finding our Footing
[framed_box] I fear that we often hide behind the skirts of our western comforts and all in the name of “godly peace” and in reaction to what would seem too extreme, yet we risk the preparedness of our children – and ourselves – in the process.[/framed_box]
Oh, and I so often feel the lurings. How much at times do I simply want to tell my children (and tell my own heart), “Everything is okay. All is fine. There’s nothing to fear.”
Yet for wisdom sake, I must attach these assurances not to a fleeting hope of comfort, but tightly wound around the anchor of the Hope of Jesus’ Return (Tit. 2:13).
There is peace in Jesus, yes. Deepest and transcendent peace. Yet, as the Word of God says candidly, there is also a storm ahead (Matt. 24:21: Lk. 21:35). And Jesus’ words were not divorced from that storm, not in replacement of real trouble, but about what we can know, experience, and proclaim in the midst of it.
Comfort, as Jesus spoke of was not ease and leisure in circumstance but deep peace and even abiding joy in the midst of all circumstances, even trouble.
We must put one foot in front of the other and walk this tightrope, as difficult as it seems at times.
[framed_box] Our prayer for our children is not the evasion of trouble – the Lord promises no such thing – but overcoming faith, joy unspeakable and fully of glory, and peace that surpasses any circumstance (Phil. 4:7; 1 Pet. 1:8; 1 Jn. 5:4).[/framed_box]
Somehow – may the Lord give us wisdom – we must set our hearts to prepare them. We must ready them to live lives worthy of the calling, to walk blameless before the coming for the Lord. Until the Day of His Appearing at last dawns.