A couple years back I was hanging out with a friend after church. Stoked on the Lord’s presence, we each started sharing different moments in our lives that we had tangibly experienced the Holy Spirit; those moments that had shaped us and filled us with awe. As I reflected, I suddenly felt the sweetness turn to sadness when it occurred to me that I hadn’t really ‘felt’ the Holy Spirit like that in a while. Responding to that homesick feeling, I said something like, “Man, I miss that. I miss experiencing the Holy Spirit.”
My friend lovingly replied, “Al, dude. You do. You’ve got peace. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Don’t underestimate how incredible it is that you have peace. We can get so caught up in the experience and completely overlook the fact that we have peace–that we’re okay. You’re okay. The Holy Spirit is alive and well in you, and that’s how He’s currently showing Himself in you.”
My friend was right. I did have peace. And I was okay.
I imagine Jesus would have felt a similar way, on many occasions. Like the time on the boat when He was so at ease within Himself that He slept through the storm (Mark 4). It’s not like Jesus didn’t notice the waves crashing, or the water pouring in, or the boat rocking. The circumstances were very real, and fear was a rational response. And yet, while the disciples responded with fear and panic, Jesus rested. He rested in His authority and reality of the power of God in Him.
In that season, the storms of my life were hectic too. I had hard stuff going on in my family which led to finding out that my parents were going to get a divorce. At the same time, God was speaking to me about missions and living in Australia. I made the decision to commit the next few years of my life to joining staff at YWAM Newcastle. I felt misunderstood and afraid.
Yet in the midst of the chaos and unknowns smashing from all angles, I found myself standing unnaturally firm in what God was speaking.
There was this ease that came over me, and in my spirit I knew that I could trust God with my family, my finances, and my life story. I stood content and unafraid because the goodness of God was too real to ignore.
The dictionary defines peace as freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Or, the state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended. In most cases in our lives, though, the disturbances don’t actually go away. The war around us doesn’t cease to exist, it doesn’t really end. But Jesus enables us to find His peace in the thick of the war. In the midst of heartache, fear, confusion and pain, we have the authority to speak His name into our circumstances. We can choose to rest in Him as His children. The rest is in that, “I’m really loved, and I’m gonna be okay” truth that keeps us settled and filled with heavenly peace.
Alexandra (USA) has been on staff with YWAM Newcastle since November of 2014, and is currently working in our Training Department as the Outreach Coordinator. She’s an expressive creative, passionate communicator, as well as a lover of people and creation.
This post is the third in a blog series on the fruits of the Spirit by YWAM Newcastle staff and alumni. In the series, each author shares how a specific fruit of the Spirit has impacted their understanding of God’s character. Through these blog posts, we hope to encourage you to look for examples of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your own life.