As the second week of Advent wraps up, I feel the war amp up. The enemy of our souls is bent on pulling us away from every thing, and the One that offers us peace.
I think I’ve written a fair amount about my struggle with worry, and you might think that by now I should be the most peaceful, put together person. Yeah… hate to burst your bubble, (and I’m glad to bring you comfort) with the knowledge that I’m still a work in progress in this area.
This past year has been a mentally taxing one. If we were to consider only the news headlines, you could probably agree there is a real war on peace out there. Then you add personal stresses like: family relationships, raising kids, finances, job stress, not having a job stress… Marriage, the list could go on and on. We struggle and we worry. And before we know it, our peace? That’s out the window.
John 14:27 is posted on the bulletin board above my desk, it says:
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.
Can I confess something? That verse has been posted above my desk for more than a year. But I don’t see it that often anymore. I mean I know it’s there, but I kinda take it for granted. At least I did until a few days ago, when a friend asked me about it.
This friend happens to be going through a rough time. And she commented that this verse was a good reminder for her. As, we chatted, my thoughts filled with the memories of life when I had found that verse. How it felt like Christ himself was whispering these words directly to me. I remembered that in a time where I felt very distinctly caught in a whirlwind of worry and trial, and trouble how these words, His words, calmed the storm around me and all was absolutely still.
Absolutely still, quiet, and calm.
I remembered how I clung to this verse, said it over and over. I did everything I could do, to grasp the peace Christ said he had already given me.
You should know that, my problems didn’t go away, because I read a verse. No. They were still there as large as life. What changed is who was in charge of them.
I have to think that when we own our worry. When we are the ones trying to figure it all out. We are trying to be god in our worry. But, when we let God be God over our troubles, well, then there is nothing that can worry us.
She was just a girl who lived in a culture where purity before marriage was very important. And an Angel shows up at her house, greets her, and says:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Well, that must of been a lot of information to take in.
I mean, I totally get why God didn’t pick me for the job. But, Mary? What was different about her? I think her response says it all.
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Did you catch the exclamation point there. (!) An exclamation is a statement of sudden or strong feeling. She was strongly stating that her very body, mind and soul were the Lords. For him to use as he saw fit. No, if’s, and’s or but’s. She was Gods.
Of course this is easier said than done in our own lives. In fact as I contemplated writing about peace, don’t you know the enemy ramped up his efforts to steal mine! Yep, but he doesn’t win. You see, if there has been one thing that I have learned over this last year, it is that perspective is everything when you are looking for peace. If we can say, we are the Lords, if we cling to the truths that He is the Prince of Peace. If we can choose to trust rather than take on the problems, If we let Christ be our root and our foundation. There is nothing that can shake us.
And during a season where we feel like things are spinning faster and faster and the demands become increasingly great. We can focus our eyes on the one who speaks to the storm and we can walk to him and live in his peace.
Peace be to you all.