My friends and I were watching a documentary the other day about the life of gangsters in a maximum security penitentiary in the Philippines and there was this gang leader, who, I should say, was the ‘president’ of all the gangsters there. He’s the one controlling mostly everybody inside. The prisoners, and even the jail wardens were under his authority. Whatever he says, everyone follows.
But there was one particular part of the story that caught my attention. As the guy covering the story were being toured around the prison by this gangster leader, suddenly it was sunset. As they reached the top of the building overlooking the entire prison, the guy asked him a question, quite irrelevant to their tour.
“What is your greatest desire in life?”
I thought for a second he would answer, “To get out of this prison!” But I was caught by surprise at his response.
Looking down, he paused for a little while, took a deep breath as he puffed his cigarette then lifted up his face as he looked out in the open sky and sighed,
“Peace. I want to have peace of mind.”
This documentary has actually brought us to our knees and pray for this man, and to all the prisoners there. Suddenly, we felt a deep compassion to the man – who may have been a representative of each and every person in that penitentiary.
Although, somehow, I knew he probably deserves to be where he is right now, after all he has committed various crimes. But then I realised he’s no different than any single one of us. We all have made mistakes in life – whether big or small. And if we were to live our lives all over again, we would want to make the wrong things right.
However, for now, all we ever want in this life is to have peace.
The kind of peace where you knew deep down inside you that everything is going to be okay – no matter what you’ve done or where you are – you are not afraid of anything. Because your fears could cripple you and haunt you even in your sleep. You fear of living because your future seems dark. You fear of dying because the unknown makes you even more afraid.
You want to experience a peaceful life.
But your money could not buy peace. Oh how you wish it could! But it couldn’t.
You have done everything, searched high and low, been to hell and back.
You kept asking yourself, “Where can I find peace? Why is it so elusive?”
You looked within your soul, and you realised that there is a void in your heart. So big! It cannot be filled by anything in this world.
You thought money can.
You thought power can.
You thought people can.
You thought fame can.
You thought drugs or alcohol or any other cravings in this world can.
But it only made you more and more empty… more and more lonely… more and more depressed.
It is like an invisible disease that only gets worse as time passes by. But then you discovered that the disease is within your soul.
It is sad that a lot of people still haven’t discovered the cure to this illness. Perhaps, no one has told them yet or they simply refuse to believe that there is indeed a cure.
The truth is, peace isn’t really as elusive as most people thought it was.
The Bible talks about the Prince of Peace. Yes, there is such a person! And he died on the cross 2,000 years ago to pay the price of everything that is causing your fears – the consequences and penalties of our wrong doings. He even offers to give an eternal life.
And His name is Jesus.
He is real.
He gives peace freely to anyone who come to Him.
In fact, Jesus is inviting you now, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
“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.” (John 14:27)
Peace begins deep inside each and every person’s soul. Not even the most intelligent doctor in the world can give this. Only God can!
So, I encourage you today. Come to Jesus and pray to Him. Surrender your life and ask Him to be the Lord of your life and surely, you will experience the “peace of God which transcends all understanding in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Go ahead and pray this prayer with me:
“Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you. Come into my heart and heal my soul. Give me rest that I may find your peace that transcends all understanding. Amen.”