On the night that Jesus was born, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel of the Lord, presenting the greatest birth announcement of all times.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14.
I could have used an angelic appearance tonite. I wasn't looking for an announcement, but more like some reassurance, that all would be well. I didn't even request a whole host. I would have been satisfied with just one dimly lit heavenly being showing up in my kitchen. I even asked, out loud, for the Lord to send one!
I read the Christmas story from Luke, and have been pondering the whole event through out the holiday season. Somehow, I keep on bumping in to one word -- PEACE. Maybe because I am not feeling a whole lot of it this Christmas season, and the word keeps popping up in story books and Christmas songs and in the scriptures.
But what exactly does it mean to have peace? As I dug around alittle bit I realized more and more that the peace that God talks about is not one of outer tranquility, like a calm, fresh fallen snow that rests upon the trees. But rather it is an inner tranquility that is deep and lasting, knitted in to our hearts and minds, made possible by Jesus. The very Jesus that we celebrate the birth of during Christmas time.
In John 14:27, Jesus says, "Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
There we go with that theme again ... do not be afraid. I said before that the antidote to fear was trust, and I believe that that fruit of trust, is peace.
In Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving to God, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guide your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Do not be anxious ... And the peace of God. I've experienced that peace. I even experienced it, tonite.
I never did get an "angelic appearance" (although some angel like friends of mine bridged the gap with phone calls and drop in visits) but I did get something even more powerful -- the assurance that peace in me is possible with Jesus. It may not always seem like it on the outside, as I attempt to navigate the changes and the pain around and within me, but a deep abiding peace is possible, and God will use that peace to help guide and guard my hurting heart.
And so it possible for you, too, dear reader, to know this peace, amidst the storms of life. I wish you a Merry Christmas. Thank you to all of you who take the time to read these random words and for your encouraging notes to me. I pray that the truths that God is teaching me strengthen and edify you, as you walk the paths that God is asking you to walk.