“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
I love Christmas music. Love singing it in church, love listening to it while I work at home. I love the hymns, but I also love the classics that my mom and grandma taught me to relish. I had to laugh the other day as my daughter and I sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with Harry Conick Jr., and we belted out “…from now on, our troubles will be miles away…” Ha! Miles away? This time of year it seems our troubles pile up. No one can agree on a date for the family Christmas, we feel terrible for those who don’t have enough money to buy presents, we don’t know when we are going to get all our wrapping done, we are worried about forgetting a gift for the mailman – you name it. Everyone has troubles.
The last few days a dear friend of mine has kept me abreast her days with an occasional text. She hadn’t been feeling well, and yesterday morning the stomach flu complicated things. Today her mom, who is here for her Christmas visit, was hit by the bug, and this afternoon her son fell victim! Ahh!! She desperately wants to feel well enough to get thru the Christmas program she is directing tomorrow night and her pastor-husband has to keep it together this week as well. I texted that I didn’t know what to pray for anymore. It seemed she needed a miracle. Her response was “I’m very calm at this point.. obviously the prayers are working!”
Calm. Peace. Absence of anxiety. A settling of the spirit. Rest. As moms struggling with our VERY long lists this time of year – these last few days before Christmas – peace is what we can pray for. Don’t get me wrong. I’m praying for miracles too. I feel like I need a few to get everything done and to keep my family healthy. (Also praying for a nap. ;) But Jesus reassures us that in the midst of everything, He can give us what the world cannot – Peace. He says to us – ‘Do NOT let your hearts be troubled! Do not let your anxieties and your fears overwhelm you! I give you peace!’ He explains all this as he explains the coming of the Holy Spirit – “He will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26) Yes, Lord. That is what I need. That is what I will pray for. Remind me of your peace. Give it to me.
Lord, this time of year when we are to be celebrating the peace you sent in your Son Jesus Christ, sometimes it seems the furthest thing from us. Grant us peace, Lord. Fill us with it. Wrap us up in your love and your peace and remind us of all your promises. Thank you, Lord, for all of it. Amen.