by Sheri Schofield
My husband Tim and I must be brave and crazy parents: we flew to Alaska to spend Christmas with our daughter and her husband. Burr! As we flew out of Montana—also burr!—we ran into the incoming storm blasting the northwest. The plane shuddered as it climbed. When it turned toward its assigned route, a gust of wind hit it and nearly turned it over. Shrieks sounded throughout the aircraft. Not from me, though. I was too scared to peep. I clutched the arm of my seat and reminded myself that the Lord was with me while the plane bucked wildly.
Suddenly, a woman with a gruff voice shouted, “They didn’t tell me I’d need spurs for this!”
If I hadn’t been so nervous, I would have laughed. As it was, I just held on. However, that humorous shout did ease the tension considerably, and I began to relax.
It looks like this world is headed into another year of struggle and strife. Many people are tense at life’s unpredictable twists and turns. The Bible tells us the world will become more and more treacherous as we near the return of the King. How can we encourage one another during these days of struggle?
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) tells us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
We are surrounded by a world of people with crushed spirits, worried about tomorrow, nervous about many things during these turbulent times. We who belong to Jesus have been given the pathway to His peace. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).
If we can stay focused on Jesus, we can be filled with His peace. If we are filled with His peace, we can be those cheerful hearts that bring good medicine to the souls of others. We can lighten their loads by caring, by listening, and by covering them—shielding them—with our love. The world is full of people who do not have Jesus’ peace. When they see God’s peace and His love for others shining from our lives, we bring them comfort.
I recently walked into a convenience store just as someone else stormed out. The cashier is a withdrawn young man who shows little emotion. I see him often, as I pick up my daily caffeine at that store. I said, “How’s your day going, Levi? Good? Bad? Somewhere in between?”
He responded with powerful but quiet emotion, “I hate people! They’re always throwing things at you for no reason!” His eyes teared up.
I got it. The customer just before me had verbally abused that young man. I listened to him express his pain. We were alone for just a couple of minutes. I said, “I’m going to pray for you.”
“What?” His mouth dropped open.
“I’m going to pray for you. Now.” I paused. “Father in heaven, Levi has been hurt. Help him to know that you love him unconditionally just the way he is. And heal his heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” I smiled and left.
Since then, Levi has started to open his heart a little. He knows I am his friend, that I care about him, and that I belong to Jesus. I have shared Jesus’ love with him. In the storm he was facing, I brought a healing touch of peace. Eventually, he may meet the Author of that peace, as I continue sharing my Savior with him.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Psalm 16:11 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Award-winning author, illustrator, and Bible teacher Sheri Schofield ministers to children and their families through her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids. After serving Jesus through children’s ministries and personal evangelism for many years, she understands how to communicate God’s plan of salvation clearly to those who are seeking God.
Her first book on salvation, The Prince and the Plan, was designed specifically for children. But during COVID, Sheri sensed the need to also provide help for adults. Her new book for adults, God? Where Are You?, tells tells who God is, how we became separated from him, and what he is doing to bring us back to himself through Jesus. At the end of each chapter is a section called “Food For Thought”, which answers questions many unbelievers have, such as—If God is good, why do terrible things happen?—Is anyone too “bad” for God to want to rescue them from sin? This biblically based book is short and easy to read.
Join the conversation. How do you bring peace to others?