Rethink Advent Day 3: Peace

December 3, 2013

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I couldn’t NOT post a picture of my dear friends’ Peace Lights for “peace.”

I thought a lot today about peace.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14:27

I have God’s peace, given to me by Jesus. I don’t have to be troubled. I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to become un-peaceful.

Yet…

A guy with bright green headlights decided to drive right on my tail through the school zones I passed through on Green Street on my way to the middle school this morning.

The ATM would not recognize my card when I inserted it at the bank.

The zipper on my boot got stuck and I spent about 5 minutes trying to fix it.

I worried and played the “what it” game about a situation that I’m concerned about handling.

All of this threatened to keep me from remembering the peace that I have from Jesus. I do not have to be troubled. I do not have to be afraid. I can cling to the peace that Jesus gives me.

And then there are bigger, actual problems that would “steal” our peace.

A high school friend reaches out for prayer when she receives terrible news about her pregnancy.

Another friend announces that the diagnosis is cancer.

A man comes by the church, struggling to pay rent and utilities and feed his family and find a job.

In this world, you will have trouble. But take courage, for I have overcome the world,” Jesus says (John 16:33)

We have peace because Jesus left us peace. Possessing peace does not guarantee that everything will always go smoothly or peacefully for us. It means we have something to cling to when the world gives us trouble. Not that I can adequately explain that to a friend who is saying goodbye to her baby girl born too early or a friend wrapping her mind around a cancer diagnosis or someone simply trying to keep his family warm and fed.

What I hope is that you and I can take courage, knowing that the one who gives us peace has overcome the world and all the cancer, and all the financial problems, and all the horrible, crap things that happen here.

I can’t read either of the Scriptures above without getting this song stuck in my head.