(February 7, 1990)
It was 4 a.m. The telephone woke both parents instantly. The father answered, mother wide-awake beside him. It happened to quick for prayers. In fact neither of them remember even a Godward thought, yet before they found out the news wasn’t good, a strange thing happened inside their minds. They were instantly and completely filled with peace, a peace so incredible, it erased all the tension that comes when the phone rings in the night.
The call was from another parent. Their young daughter, best friend of this couple’s daughter, had invited her for a sleep-over. Both were missing. So was his vehicle. The caller’s voice was filled with fear. They were only 13. Neither of them could drive. Where would they go? They had no money. It seemed they had taken no extra clothing. He was in a state of panic. His wife could be heard crying in the background.
The recipients of this alarming news dressed hurriedly. They quickly drove the few blocks to the home of the other parents. They prayed with them first, then calmly began making plans to search the area. Both were concerned but serene. That serenity still didn’t make sense, not even to them, never mind to the parents of the other girl. Why would anyone, given the situation, be so calm?
Jesus made an incredible promise to those who trust in Him, “Peace I give unto you, not as the world gives give I unto you...” The Apostle Paul called it “the peace that passes all understanding.”
This couple were new Christians. God was teaching them all about turning their fears over to Him, about trusting Him with all their heart and that He would give His peace to those who do so. They were learning to turn to Him in need and not rely on their own understanding. But this was something new. His peace was there, without even a thought of asking Him for it.
It makes no sense that such deep peace can be experienced in such a traumatic episode of life. We may want it, but the normal reaction is fear and anxiety. However, our God is greater than our normal reactions. The above situation gives evidence that His ways are far beyond even what we can understand. No psychologist can explain it. No philosopher can decipher peace where there ought to be a storm.
No matter how often we reach out to God, no matter how often He responds to our cries, He must take great delight in meeting needs that we don’t even know we have, or meeting them before they come into our awareness. What joy in discovering Him through a surprise. What grace in His supply of protection and assurance during those times we least expect it. He knows how to build our confidence in Him.
Surely God’s invitation to: “Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not,” earns far more response from that father and mother after such a sovereignly bestowed blessing. Without calling, their experience of a great and mighty peace revealed to them the grace and power of God. He could now say to them: “You have seen what I can do in this... trust Me in all things”
The rest of the story? God already knew it. The girls drove only a few blocks, parked the vehicle, locked it, and spent several hours, chilly and frightened, wondering what would happen to them when they returned home. They walked in before breakfast, feeling foolish but nonetheless wiser -- and safe.
To God belongs the glory -- not only for their safety, but when it was threatened, He granted a deep and unexpected peace.