During crisis and times where pain can seem unbearable the way you see things can drastically change. Sometimes for the worse or others for the better.
In the midst of the Christmas season, circumstances like busyness, financial stress, family struggles and loss of loved ones can really mess with the normal traditions and joys that the holidays so often symbolize. The focus shifts to the immediate circumstance and all that is not right, everything that’s just plain out of whack.
The Christmas Eve service at our church this year grabbed my attention as the message was not just the birth of Christ, but WHY Jesus came. He came to bring Peace. He is the Prince of Peace, from the beginning of time, now & forevermore.
For most of my life the holidays have been a really special time for family gatherings, eating lots of (maybe too much) amazing food, laughing and just enjoying each other’s company. Yes, Christmas is all about Jesus’ birth, but my main focus has always been the tradition and comfort of a special time spent with family.
This year things have been different & in the middle of my struggle, God so sweetly grabbed my attention and showed me His Peace & Joy is the center of the season. Maybe I’m just a slow learner, but it literally just hit me what Christmas is all about.
Traditions were out the window and the holidays have looked much different. However looking around at the fellowship, friends & family God has blessed me with I was overwhelmed with His Peace. The Peace He came to bring to earth. The Peace God gifted us- through a baby. The Peace that for so many years my attention has drifted from and almost looked over as I was enjoying the blessings & comfort of tradition. Not to say that tradition & family isn’t a huge blessing, but when it really boils down to it, how can I truly enjoy those blessings without His Peace.
So this holiday season I’m overwhelmed with gratitude at the true gift & meaning of Christmas. The reality of a Son sent to lavish mercy & grace on us. The gift of perfect love possible because of perfect peace, sacrificed and resurrected on a cross for my dire and grievous sin. A gift that I will never deserve or be able to pay back. A gift that is a living reality every moment, that no circumstance, suffering, pain, or death can steal from us….Peace.
Peace isn’t the absence of difficulty. No, it’s the presence of God’s Peace that surpasses all understanding in the middle of affliction that no one can understand. So desperately I cherish & guard this Peace, because life has it’s share of joys & pain, but The Lord offers a steadfast & consistent love that showers Peace and washes the burden and tears away. Although some seasons tears may run a steady stream, His love never fails. His Peace is like a river, roaring through my soul.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)