God Gives Peace When We’re In Pieces

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 NKJV).

by Sue Carloni
I

handed my husband, Kurt, the phone and held my breath. He listened for a few moments, then turned toward me and mouthed “tumor.” I clasped my hand over my mouth as tears poured down my cheeks.

The minute Kurt heard the news, he felt God’s peace come over him. Not so for me. While we rushed to the doctor’s office, I repeated, “Our God is mighty; our God is great.” Yet all the while, I cried.

The brain surgeon showed us Kurt’s MRI result and said he needed to operate on Monday. The tumor was most likely cancerous and growing fast. This was Friday.

Kurt came out of the shower the next day and surprised me by saying, “I feel strongly that God wants me to speak during the church service. He wants someone there to know they need to put their trust in Him.”

Kurt had never asked to speak at church before, but he wanted to be obedient to the Lord. He called our pastor and explained everything. The pastor readily agreed and said it even fit in perfectly with his sermon.

Throughout the agonizingly long weekend, I repeated, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV). I knew God would help me get through this crisis, but I was still afraid. After hearing Kurt speak at church, God’s perfect peace came over me.

Our pastor told us a woman who heard Kurt speak had been contemplating suicide, but immediately those thoughts had disappeared. We didn’t know the whole story until a year later.

Amanda contacted us and wanted to meet Kurt. “He saved my life,” she said. We were eager to meet with this woman so we could explain it was God, not Kurt, who had rescued her.

As the three of us sat in a coffee shop, Amanda told her story. She had experienced so many health issues, discouragements, and other crises that she felt she could not handle them any longer. She developed a suicide plan. Her husband would be out of town on a particular Saturday night. She was going to enjoy a leisurely dinner, then swallow a full bottle of pills and lie down. Her husband would find her body when he returned from his trip.

However, that afternoon she sensed God urging her to attend church the next morning. “I don’t want to,” she said aloud. But in her mind she kept hearing,

Go to Church!

Amanda struggled for hours, then found herself driving to church. She does not even remember getting into the car. She had not showered nor changed her clothes that morning. Yet, she was on her way.

Amanda sat in church with her arms crossed and head held low. Why am I here? I don’t want to be here!

She nearly got up to leave several times. However, when Kurt stood in front of the congregation and began to speak, her eyes were drawn to him. The message spoke to her heart; God loved her and wanted her to put her trust in Him. Immediately, God’s peace came over her. She no longer wanted to kill herself; she wanted to live!

After relaying her story, Amanda reached over and hugged Kurt. “See?” she said, misty-eyed. “You saved my life.”

Kurt and I gently took hold of Amanda’s hands. “God saved your life,” Kurt said. “He spoke through me so you would know you needed to trust Him.”

Amanda nodded and hugged us both.

If Kurt had not obeyed God by speaking at church . . . and if the pastor had not agreed that he could speak . . . and if Amanda had not obeyed God’s urging to attend the service, she would probably not be alive today.

God gave Kurt, Amanda, and me His perfect peace—peace that comes when we put our trust in Him. As Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 NKJV).