Eventually we did find some signs directing us to the Jewish Museum; unfortunately, however, the signs ended up leading us nowhere. We were truly completely lost.
My wife, who was driving, then became excited when she found a sign with a direction indicator. There were many foreign words on the sign, but with our limited (non-existent) Polish, the only word she understood was "museum". She lost no time in following the indicator up a long entrance way to the front door. This had to be the long-sought building. After all, how many museums could there possibly be in a town as small as Oswiecim, Poland?
It wasn't more than two seconds after she stopped the car that a "bulldog" of a man lumbered over and began cursing at us in Polish. We couldn't understand a thing he said; but it was clear we were not where we wanted to be!
My wife, however, was tired of turning around and around Oswiecim, looking for the Museum, so she rolled down the window to ask the man directions. In a matter of seconds, that bulldog of a head came through that window and began yelling even more loudly in Polish, and this time we could literally feel the heat of his anger on his breath. It was clear: we had to leave! But with his head stuck through the window, how could we drive away?
That's when a second man appeared. This one was smiling, and I couldn't help thinking that this was some Polish version of a Laurel and Hardy movie. This gentleman also spoke to us only in Polish, but when he heard the English words, "Jewish Museum", he seemed to understand where we wanted to go. He gestured for me to follow him, and I was quick to comply. Unfortunately, that left my wife and son at the mercy of the first "Hardy" type of guy, who continued his tirade of angry words, seemingly without even stopping for breath.
Something strange happened when the "Laurel" of the pair, the nice guy, began speaking to me in Polish. I understood him! He told me, "Don't take notice of my friend. He is always that way, and we have to work with him!" He them showed me where to park and how to reach our destination, and his instructions proved to be 100% correct.
How did I understand him when I don't know even one word of Polish? It was simple: My Heavenly Father came through for me. He is the one who made me understand what the nice polish man said. Who else could help me with a completely foreign language?
Interestingly enough, through all of this adversity, we remained at peace. Even my wife, who was continuing to take the verbal abuse through the open car window when I returned. Why did we feel this peace? It is quite simple:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, NIV2)
This is confirmed over and over in God's Word: "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, NIV2)
How is this even possible? "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7, NIV2) When we depend on our Heavenly Father, we simply have nothing to worry about. We remain at inner peace, no matter what our circumstances might be, because our Father in Heaven is sustaining us. It may sound strange for those who have never experienced God, but truly this is a reality for those who know our Heavenly Father personally.
You may have read my experience with my heart problems (See Illusive Faith). I was sent to the best heart specialist in my region. His first test was inconclusive. He gave me another vigorous test where he discovered that one of my heart valves only had two parts to it, where there are supposed to be three. Even when he gave me that verdict, I was at peace. I simply placed the heart problem in God's hands and went on about my life. I would later be sent to another heart specialist, and his tests discovered that somehow I now have three parts to each of my heart valves. This didn't make sense to him. A heart valve cannot grow a third part! He concluded that the best heart specialist in town had been wrong. I knew better.
When my wife lost her keys in the Sonoran Desert, I was also completely at peace. Somehow I knew we would find them in the dark, and God led us right to them (See The Challenge)!
When I had to wait for a CAA truck to bring my car for repairs, I also didn't panic. I was at complete peace writing devotionals in my car until the truck arrived. In the end, all was fixed within 2 days (See Facing Hilarious Bad News)!
That inner peace that our Heavenly Father gives us, no matter how dire our circumstances may be, is how He shows His love to us. His peace indicates we are His children and nothing should faze us.
Do all Christians have this peace in the face of adversity? Unfortunately not. This is only available to those who walk with Him and have a personal relationship with Him. If you do not face adversity with peace in your heart, ask Him to reveal Himself fully to you. His peace will eventually reign in your heart, and this will be the absolutely amazing proof beyond a doubt that He is truly alive within you.
How will you react the next time someone yells at you?
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.