Peace Peace

“What caused your boys’ autism?” our friend asked.

Our immediate silence prompted her to pepper us with even more questions.

 “Where does autism come from?”

“Is autism hereditary?”

“Did something happen to Jake and Caleb in childhood?”

“Will they grow out of it?”

What could we say?

Autism has no easy, cut and dry answers.

Most of our replies were “We don’t know.”

What John and I do know is that there has been no singular cause of autism identified yet. Extensive autism research is still in play. Currently, autism is considered to develop from a combination of genetic, non-genetic, and environmental influences. Each of these influences appear to increase the risk that children develop autism before or after birth, like our Jake and Caleb did. It is a complex neurobehavioral disorder that is often characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction, impairments with communication and the presence of repetitive and/or stereotypical patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities.

Our children’s autism has required John and I to be content with the fact that we don’t really know where our boys’ autism came from or why.

It’s kind of like some one asking, “Why are you so short, Heather, and your sons are sooooo tall?” Or

“How did you get cancer, Heather?” Or

“Why are you still cancer-free, seven years later?”

You get the idea – they’re the kinds of questions that really don’t have complete, fit-it-in-a-box answers.

Isn’t that life?

Does life ever really offer up neat, complete, packaged, I-understand-perfectly-why-this-happened answers?

I don’t think life works that way.

All John and I know is that autism is here and always at play in our children’s lives.

As I opened up my bible this morning, I shouldn’t have been surprised. My God often offers a word of encouragement to me when I am pondering something – especially something that has no easy, cut and dry answers. Here is what I read:

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

New international Version, Isaiah 26:3 – 4

Here’s what I took from today’s reading.

Chaos abounds.

It’s everywhere.

No one really knows what is happening later today. We certainly don’t know what is happening tomorrow. Our lives are filled with every type of unknown.

And yet, here is a word from the Lord that says that He will keep us in perfect peace as we rest upon Him and trust Him for every single, uncertain, unknown thing.

There is a ton to unpack from these two verses.

To keep means to be guarded and protected. Imagine being inside a garrison, a strong, permanent, military fortress where troops are stationed about it. On every side, these troops are positioned to protect YOU(!) – as a stronghold of defense.

Isn’t that fantastic that we are protected in times of fear and the uncertainty it brings?

Second, we are kept in perfect peace. Perfect peace is peace upon peace. In Hebrew, perfect peace reads, ‘peace peace.’ This double peace is written this way to emphasize the certainty, the constancy and the continuity of the peace of God.

That peace peace sounds wonderful, right? But, there’s more!

This peace is granted to those who fix their eyes, their hearts, their minds, their souls upon their God and his great love for them. Though uncertainty and fear rage like storms all about us, if we fix our eyes and hearts on Christ, we are kept in complete, sure, protected and guarded and secure space of peace. Nothing will separate us from the love of God and nothing will separate us from the inward, outward, in all times and in all places, infinite, eternal peace of God.

There is no way that we can avoid anxiety, depression, conflict, struggle, misunderstanding, disappointment, disease, betrayal, or difficulty in our lives. Life is tumultuous and uncertain. However, none of these things, even autism, can prevent us from experiencing the perfect peace – the peace peace – of Jesus Christ.  

We can rest, lean, and even fall upon the peace of Christ and find contentment, confidence, assurance, and blessing in Him – even in times of uncertainty – when there are no answers.

Wouldn’t you like to experience this wondrous peace peace of Christ?

What would it take?

The answer is found in the verses I read this morning:

Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Trust in Christ.

Trust in Christ when we have no way of knowing the whys, the whens, the whats, the wheres, the whos, or the hows.

It would be a transformational step in our lives to trust Christ in this way. Too many don’t, though. Believers in Christ could live into and out of this peace peace of Christ. Instead, they often behave like they have no trust. No real, transformational faith. They don’t believe that Jesus can protect and shield them. They don’t accept the peace of Christ that is offered so freely and abundantly in his name. They don’t enjoy the security and safety found upon the Rock Eternal. Instead, they complain. They cower. They fear, fear, fear, and thus fail to show the amazing, supportive, strengthening, sustaining power of Christ in their lives.

And, so, they miss out on the wonder of Christ’s perpetual, preserving peace.

Is this me?

Is this you?

I hope not.

I want to be rooted, grounded and established upon this strong garrison of peace – even when I cannot answer with certainty why things happen the way they do in my life.

All I can do is stand upon the peace peace of Christ and the true, real, solid, and constant way it is at work in my life – because of Christ. I will not be shaken.

Why?

Because of confidence I have in Christ – the Rock Eternal.

Friends, what are you afraid of?

What are you questioning?

What are you worried about?

What is making you doubt?

What is causing you to shake, shake, shake?

What don’t you have answers for – and maybe you never will?

I understand.

I may never know what caused my children’s autism or why this neurodevelopmental condition became part of our family’s story.

Thus, I encourage you to meditate upon and pray through these words of Isaiah like I do:

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Receive the peace peace of Christ.

Our future is in His hands.

We can trust Him.

Take His peace peace.

You can be safe in Christ – even in difficulties – and experience his sustaining, strengthening love and peace.

Will you give this peace peace in Christ a go?

Ask Him.

As an encouragement, take a listen:

Love you, my friends, peace peace.

2 thoughts on “Peace Peace

  1. Thank you for this beautiful song and the verses. I really needed this today. 💞 hugs.

    1. Blessings and peace peace to you, Nancy! ❤

      love, heather

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