October 31, 2010
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
Years ago, in Munich, there was a comedian performing by the name of Karl Vallentin.
As part of his act, he would walk on stage where everything was dark except for a small area illuminated by a street lamp. Painstakingly, he began to look for something on the ground.
Eventually, he was joined by a pretend policeman who wanted to know what Vallentin was doing.
The comedian said he was trying to locate a key he had lost. With that, the policeman joined him in the unrewarded search. Eventually, and in frustration, the officer asked, "Are you sure you lost your key here?"
"Oh, no," said Vallentin as he pointed to a corner, "I lost my key over there, but this is where the light is!" (Maybe it was funnier in person.)
Last week I received a letter from an individual who has been looking for the key which would unlock her guilt. She has been to doctors, psychologists, and all other kinds of professionals. Nothing they have said or done was able to help.
Finally, almost as a last resort, she wrote and asked me what she should do.
Without being specific or sharing that conversation, I had to tell her she was probably looking for peace in the wrong places. If she wanted to find freedom from her soul's pain, she had to go back to where she had lost her peace.
She needed to understand that a clear conscience and a clean heart can be given to you when you acknowledge your wrongdoing and receive the forgiveness which Jesus has procured through His life and death lived among us.
I don't know if she believed me.
I wish she would. After all, there are other places you can look for peace, but only one place you will find it ... in the fellowship of our Lord who loves us.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the peace and love which can come only through sins forgiven. I rejoice that my sins have been erased through my Savior's suffering, death, and resurrection. Now, I pray others may be brought to Your peace by the Holy Spirit's power. In Jesus I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries