The Haven. Radical Grace from the Book of Romans (5:1-2)

Pouring rain in DeboisPouring rain in Eldred

ďTherefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.Ē (Rom 5:1-2 NIV)

Peace in a world full of war and various uprisings seems like a fable from the past. Still, we who long to have a relationship with God not only are justified by faith, but we also experience a peace that is not from this world. This peace resides in our hearts, like a fortress that keeps us safe from all the wiles of adversities. After all didnít Jesus make us a promise? ďPeace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.Ē (John 14:27 NIV) Our part is to not let ourselves be swayed into being troubled and afraid. Easier said than done, we may think, but somehow when we fix our eyes on Jesus (See Heb 12:2-3) trouble doesnít seem to faze us anymore, and we do, indeed, experience immense inner peace.

This peace is thus only accessible by faith. After all, if we donít believe in peace, there is no way we can experience it fully. Our first step is to get to know the Peacemaker personally and accept His friendship fully. He is the One who died for us on a cross so that we could fully experience His peace. Resurrected, He guarantees us that this is possible. He is not only our Savior, but also our rest and our peace.

A few weeks ago, my oldest son and I had set up our tent trailer in a lovely campground called Kiasutha Campground, located in the Alleghany National Forest, not too far from the Kinzua dam. Because I promised my son to bring him to an A+ rated Italian restaurant in Dubois, Pennsylvania, we left on a 100 kilometer trek. As soon as we arrived in Dubois, it began to rain so hard that we had to park on the side of the road due to the poor visibility. We thought about our tent trailer, back at Kiasutha, and we couldnít help but wonder if it was surviving this ordeal.

Back to our campground, however, we noticed that it hadnít even rained there.

The next day we visited a fascinating World War 2 museum in Eldred, Pennsylvania. As soon as we stepped out of the building we were stopped in our tracks. Yes, you guessed it, it was pouring harder than the myriads of cats and dogs promised in such heavy rain.

Later on, in Oleander, New York, where we ate and did a bit of shopping, rivers of water again poured down from above. In fact the rain was so bad that part of the town lost power, and on our way back, traffic was stopped because of a terrible, flood-related accident. Again we wondered about our tent trailer. Hadnít we left a couple of windows open?

Once back in our campground however, we once again realized that it had not even rained there at all. The entire time we were there, our campground was a perfect haven from the elements. Had we stayed at the camp the entire time, we would never have guessed how much it had rained in the area. Peace truly reigned in this campground.

Arenít we the ones who wander too easily away from the Peacemaker, our haven from all elements? If we would remain safely in His presence, we could avoid the fears and troubles that surround us. After all He is the Peacemaker, He not only forgave us from our myriads of sins, He also made sure that His peace reigns in us.

Heavy rain! Why donít we get out and dance in it, for truly we have nothing to fear. Our Father is with us! Yahoo!

Rob Chaffart

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