My morning devotions are pretty simple. I make coffee and find my favorite chair before the bustling noise of my girls fills the house. I open my Bible and pray, “Lord, speak to me this morning by drawing my attention to a word or phrase. “ In small and sometimes startling ways, God always answers that prayer.

Today was John 20:19 and God focused my attention on the word “with.” “Peace be with you,” said Jesus.

OK, Jesus, what do I do with the word with: “PEACE?”

“It’s with you because I am with you,” said Jesus.  He continued. “Peace is something that is independent of you, your feeling, your circumstances, your attempts at security, your notion of justice, but at the same time truly with you. “Withness” cannot be rubbed off, worn out, watered down, or misplaced.”

“And one more thing,” said Jesus, “Because of Good Friday and Easter, the most natural place for peace to be peace is with you.”

Good thing, because as I read the next few verses, Jesus is sending the disciples out as the Father sent him out. Now that sounds scary considering where it landed Jesus. Then he breathes on them and gives them authority to forgive or retain sins. Nothing safe here.   This got Jesus into trouble.

“What are you teaching me Jesus?”

“Peace comes on the front end,” says Jesus. That’s how “with” works. You can’t out-run or catch-up to “with” because it’s simply with you.

Thanks Jesus. I needed to hear this. I have a very ordinary day planned, no particular triumphs or disasters. And as I go, I go with peace.

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