The Peace of God

Matthew 14:27. Immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

In early 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, resulting in surgery and six months of chemotherapy. With that came the many side effects: hot flashes, insomnia, brain drain, weight gain, fatigue.

One morning about 4:00 a.m., I awoke parched, drenched with sweat. This was no ordinary hot flash; this was hell. The bedroom felt like 130 degrees; chaos filled me.

Like a captive, dying fish, I flipped and reflipped, trying to find some relief. One of those turns left me facing the wall. In that moment the bedroom terrain was gone.

I was in a boat on a big lake. Like the Sea of Galilee.

The temperature had dropped at least sixty degrees. The water was calm and moonlit; the night air was cool—oh, so cool. There was a bit of fog, a bit of steam.

And I wasn’t alone.

Jesus was in the stern. I was in the bow, facing him. Gone were anxiety and fear.

It was there, in the boat with Jesus, that I came to know the peace of God, the strife-closed-in-the-sod peace of God, the marvelous peace of God—the peace that does, indeed, pass all human understanding.

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