On Sunday we observe the 10th anniversary of “nine eleven”. The day that everything changed. I remember the uncertainty that I felt in the hours and days that followed. What was next? What was going to happen? What did the future hold? We pumped up our defenses. We became alert. But gradually, over time, we started to feel more comfortable and our lives found a new normalcy.
I just took a business trip that required 9 different flights and I had to go through security about 7 times. While we are so used to the drill now it’s interesting to think back to the time when airport security was nothing like it is now. I want to say “Hey, there’s peace!” but I know better. There is no peace. There is physical and emotional sickness and crime and people that want to destroy our country and lots of other things. If we let down our defenses we will certainly see disaster again. It’s just the way it is. So we take off our shoes and our watch and take the laptop out of the case and take our cell phones out and take out the ziplock bag of liquids that don’t exceed 3 oz. each (thankfully I don’t wear belts), then we put it all back together at the other end of the x-ray machine. Over and over again. Because there is no peace.
“‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. …
I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 13:10, 14 – NIV)
Ezekiel warns against false prophets who tell the people what they want to hear. They tell the people that everything is fine and there is peace when there is no peace. So they build a flimsy wall, whitewash it so it looks good on the outside, don’t really do the hard work to make it strong, and sure enough it doesn’t hold against the storm. Reminds me of the house built on the sand. Or the house of straw from the three little pigs.
If I want to stand strong I must not be deceived. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
David says in Psalm 54:4
4 Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Jesus offers us the peace that passes all understanding. Not the false sense of peace that the false prophets offer, but peace deep down in your soul. That’s the kind of peace I rest on as we face this very uncertain world. Jesus says in John 14:27
27 Peace 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.