In the midst of a battle with cancer, Pastor Tim Keller stands before a congregation that has missed and prayed for him. He used the sharing of his battle to also invite his congregation to step into the place where he was currently living: a place of peace. “How do you face troubles like this with peace?” he asked. “The ultimate way to handle the troubles of life with peace is not through petitionary prayer, but through worship.”
His body weak from treatments and eagerly anticipating a vacation, he musters the strength to stand before his church for just one sermon. He tells the story of a woman who has inherited an old brooch, which has been thrown into a pile of other bobbles with little consideration.
Imagine being forced to vacate your home. Darkness is upon your city and the mayor of your city tells you to get out. Get out now! The city is one violent scream of grief as death spreads through a never-before-seen sickness. You sense God’s peace, but also feel the palpable fear as the entire city rises in chaos to run. This has not been a happy stop in your journey of life, so you are glad to go but didn’t expect it to be so sudden. You pack in haste with not even a moment to consider where you will go, but knowing your departure will be permanent. You try to think clearly. You grab clothes, blankets, a few family treasures, and food for the journey.
Time is not on your side as the cries grow louder and more urgent. Get out now! Your spirit joins in the mantra certain that the window of opportunity may be closing.
And then you remember something you need not forget! You run for it as a family member calls from outside, “We have to go now!”
“Just wait,” you plead. “I must have one more thing.”