by Jerry Ousley
10/07/2011 / Christian Living
As a teenager a cyst had begun to grow on my neck. I hoped that it would just go away but it didn't. After consulting a doctor it was determined that surgery was the only possible alternative. Now I'm not going to tell the entire story today; I've mentioned it before. Instead I want to tell only about the surgery.
As they prepped me for the operation and began giving me the anesthesia that would knock me out I heard or at least thought I heard a strange discussion. It was either my imagination or the surgeons were kidding with me, or maybe I had already fallen asleep and dreamed it I don't really know. What I do know is that if it was real and I had heard their statement with full consciousness I would have most likely gotten up off that table and ran for my life because what I heard (or thought I heard) one of them say was, "What size knife should we use?" If he didn't know was he really qualified to be cutting on my neck?
That's all I remember about that. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room with a big bandage on my neck. You've also got to remember that this took place in the early seventies. As they wheeled me and my bed back into the room I remember flashing the peace sign to everyone I met. I was happy as a lark and loved everybody. Just what did they give me anyway? That was the only time in my entire life that I got high and folks it was a legal high!
We hear a lot about world peace; it has become a canned answer from most beauty pageant candidates. When asked, "What is the one thing you would wish for in this world?" The answer is nearly always, "World peace." We have asked people to pray for world peace. But world peace will never come as long as man is in charge. Only when Christ returns can we ever hope for world peace. Three times in the account where Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection He greeted them with, "Peace be to you." Yet we read in the passage in Acts 5 where the disciples had been arrested for their faith and were in jeopardy of losing their lives and I ask, "Where is the peace?"
We read in "Fox's Book of Martyrs" about those who were persecuted and executed because they preached a message of peace to others. Yet today in many parts of the world Christians are paying with their lives when they preach about Christ and the peace He can bring and it seems that peace by man's definition escapes us.
We go to our jobs, whether they are in a factory, an office, on a construction site or in our homes. Conflict seems to arise out of nowhere so how can we have peace? Jesus Himself said that He didn't come to bring peace but a sword. What did He mean by that? Isn't He the Prince of Peace?
Yet these men of faith did have peace. The Bible speaks of peace that goes beyond human understanding (see Philippians 4:7). In fact in the New Testament alone, the word "Peace" is used one hundred and eleven times. What brings us this peace that the human mind cannot fathom? The key is found in the action that Jesus did when He breathed on them. In verse 22 of John 20 the Bible tells us that He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit." The act of breathing or blowing was significant. You see it began in the Garden of Eden. The Bible tells us that "God breathed into them the breath of life." God's breath is what gave life to the soul of man for it also says that after God breathed into them that "they became a living soul." God wants life for us but true life is not what most people think of. To really be alive we must have "God, the Holy Spirit" living in us. When mankind fell in the Garden of Eden, he died. Immediately he lost the breath of God from his spirit and he was no longer a living soul but a dead soul. Physical death also resulted but after many years it was in fact a result of a dying soul.
Christ came to save us. This salvation went beyond forgiveness of sin, granting a home in Heaven, and the traditional things we normally think about. Yes, these things are true and wonderful, but the greatest thing He did for us was to give us back the breath of God in the Holy Spirit. Peace is possible today. But it only comes through our relationship with God and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God wants to bring peace to your life. This doesn't mean that everything is going to be perfect and smooth from now on but it does means that even in the middle of terrible things you can still have peace within. Accept the breath of God today.
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" "Ordeal" "The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional" and his first novel "The Shoe Tree." Listen to the daily broadcast Spirit Bread. Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com