by Tim Hall
Are we looking in the right places for peace and security?
Pierre Desarmes must have felt a wave of relief as he loaded his family onto an airplane. Two weeks earlier this 34-year-old man was in Port-au-Prince, Haiti when the earthquakes struck.
He and members of his family were glad to be alive, but their world was in shambles. Now they were headed for peace and security — in Chile.
This unfortunate Haitian family had been in their new home barely a month when the stronger earthquake came calling. Now the family sleeps outside, afraid to go inside buildings where walls might collapse on top of them.
Stanley Desarmes, Pierre’s younger brother, is frantic. “I don’t know what I can do, but staying isn’t possible,” he said. “I could die and I could lose my family. I have to leave. I don’t know where, I don’t know how. But I don’t want to die with my family here,” he was quoted as saying in an Associated Press story on March 4, 2010.
Our hearts go out to all of the victims of the earthquakes, both in Haiti and in Chile. But how can we imagine the confusion and fear of these who have gone through both disasters?
Near the end of his ministry, Jesus warned of a time of devastation.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her” (Luke 21:20,21, NKJV).
Eusebius, writing over 200 years after Jesus’ prophecy, recorded how Christians fled Jerusalem during the brief pullback of the Roman army surrounding the city. By fleeing to the town of Pella they found the peace that no one who stayed behind would enjoy.
Jesus made another statement about peace in this world that applies to us. In John 16:33 he stated: “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Those whose faith in Jesus led them to flee Jerusalem in A.D. 70 found peace. Those who act upon their faith by fleeing to Jesus to escape the tribulations of the world will find peace. Guaranteed. We’ll still be surrounded by turmoil in the material realm, but our spirits can be calm and secure.
“… And his name will be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6).