A Baptism of Peace is written by our dear friends in Ashford, Ireland, David & Nina Rice. In these days of uncertainty may our hearts be drawn towards the Prince of Peace.

A BAPTISM OF PEACE

 I think it is fair to say that we are living in interesting and challenging times. A world that has been focused for quite a few years on the polarising political strife in many countries has suddenly turned its attention to the effect of an almost infinitesimal piece of RNA inside a protein coat that is just visible to the most powerful electron microscopes but seems to have the power to threaten all of our lives with at least sickness and possibly death. As a consequence of it, normal life as we know it is threatened emotionally, economically and socially. Fear has increased for many while a few call it just a hoax. Whatever your thinking on Covid-19 and its consequences for our lives, it would be hard to find someone who has not considered their future in the light of its presence among us.

I would like to tell you of an experience Nina and I had a couple of weeks ago. We had an evening planned with friends for relaxed fellowship and social intercourse, but it was cancelled as the hosts were sick with a cold and did not want to pass it on. We decided to spend some time together quietly waiting on the Lord with a sense of need to be hearing Him clearly. It was a special hour or so in which neither of us spoke at all for a long time but His presence was very real as we quietly prayed and spoke in tongues. We both became very aware that He was touching us with what I can only describe as a baptism of Peace. It was, and is, very special to be surrounded by and carried along in our thinking and spiritual awareness, by such a sense of certainty, stability, security and confident God-consciousness. As we lingered in awe of His presence the Lord seemed to be showing us other folks who we know and a vast number of others who we do not know, but who were obviously part of His family. They were shining as beacons of that stability and inner peace. It seemed to be affecting others around who were fearful and drew out questions as to how such peace was possible.

What impressed me was that many of the folk in the vision had every reason to be fearful as they knew physical weakness and infirmity in their lives. They were not the strong and confident brash who could trust in their own physical strength and ability to get through whatever they faced, but rather the weak and dependent who the Lord had touched by His Peace, in such a way that they were resting in the middle of the storm, knowing He is in the boat. It is a case of the Lord choosing the weak and foolish in this world to shame the strong and wise who trust in their own strength and wisdom. (1 Cor.1 vs 27-31) I am very confident that God is working in and through the present situations we all face. He is desiring to fill each of us who know Him with His peace and awareness of His presence so that we do not act out of panic or fear but in His rest. He gives us the confidence that He is in control, and it is safe to rest free from fear in this time of shaking. The world and those who are afraid may be drawn to Him as they see that His people are not moved by the challenges that are common to us all. If you have been challenged by fear or anxiety in these days I would encourage you to open your heart to His love and let Him draw you into His peace. The issue is not the storm; fighting it does not work. He is able to control that and sets its limits. Rather the issue is His presence which brings His peace and security. Let Him draw you close so that you can hear Him speak in you heart that He ‘will never leave you or forsake you’. There is no situation for the child of God where we are alone. Let Him make that reality clear, deep in your heart. He says “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you”. Since that evening I have been reading several related scriptures, and below is listed some of them should you wish to look them up and ponder them.

Heb. 4, Phil 4:6-7, 1Pet. 5: 7, Jn 16:33, 2 Thess 3: 16, Isiah 26: 3, Jn 14: 26-27, Col. 3:15, Rom. 8:6. Ps 91. May You be blessed as you look to Him and find new assurance in your heart that He is Lord.

David Rice.                                                                                   davidrice33@gmail.com March 2020.