“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Feeling peace in December seems counterintuitive. Snow makes our commutes longer and more dangerous, students have exams, broken families try to plan Christmas parties, and broke parents try to buy Christmas presents. How the heck is all of that suppose to be peaceful?
Christmas is not an altogether peaceful time. Externally, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and simply feel overworked and tired. (ANOTHER pow day?? I have to hit the hill!) Internally, we can feel overwhelmed and anxious–definitely not peaceful.
December can feel contradictory. We feel the longing for peace, the requirement of peace, yet cannot quite seem to catch our breath. Peace, as advertised, includes fireplaces, cozy blankets, falling snow, and a cup o’ coffee (or tea, or cocoa, let’s not drink discriminate). While these are peaceful things the season brings, they themselves are not where or how we find peace. For that, we must look elsewhere.
“And in despair I bowed my head. There is no peace on earth I said…Then rang the bells more loud and deep. God is not dead, nor does he sleep…The world revolved from night to day; A voice, a chime, a chant sublime; Of peace on earth, goodwill to men”.I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
The peace that Christians celebrate (yet not always experience) around Christmas is the peace we inherit along with salvation–with the birth of our Savior. Because God so loved this word, He sent us Jesus, to be born like you and me, to live a perfect human life, and then undeservingly die on the cross thereby taking our sins, our hurt, our pain, and our distress to the grave with Him. This is the peace that can never be taken away–it persists through apprehension, distress, and suffering.
Within the anxiety of a year coming to a close and a new year beginning–we listen for the subtle bells– “a voice, a chime, a chant sublime” that everything is going to be okay. We find rest in our faith. In Christ, we find peace despite our situations, not because of them.
What is stealing your peace this season?
How can you find rest in Jesus?
Where in your life do you feel peace?
By Ellie Heethuis | Byron Center, MI