You know that feeling you get in the midst of a conversation, when someone is talking and it triggers something amazing you really want to contribute to what’s being said? But one person to the next, the conversation moves forward, and you’re struggling to find a place to insert your audible “foot in the door”. Finally, as you sense your window of opportunity passing, you take a deep breath, allow yourself to “let go” of the need to say something, and experience a moment of peace.
This peace we talk about during Advent, is the peace of the world. Peace for a creation that is waiting and groaning for what God has in store. We’ve experienced this peace in our own lives as well.
Peace that came to me as a teenage boy, working late one night at a campground. Surrounded by the animals I was caring for, smelling the straw and the dung. I was feeling the frustrations of life, all the angst of being a teenage boy full of unknowns, multiplied by a difficult family background that made me wonder what would become of life. I was reminded of a baby boy who was God, born into a similar scene, and the promise that boy gave to always be with me.
Peace that came to my wife and I, in the midst of our 3rd child waiting in the womb. The doctors had found something that caused alarm in a recent ultrasound. They explained calmly how this could really be nothing at all. Or it could be something terrible. We spent time and tears in prayer, offering our worries to God, and asking that He would give us peace. Ruby continues to be a reminder of God’s ability to bring peace in the unknown moments.
Peace that we rely on even now, waiting for concrete news on bringing home our daughter from Africa. There are horrible living conditions in the DRC, in the midst of peace talks between their soldiers and rebels in the East. We’re trying to raise funds in the midst of a season where most people we know have already stretched their budgets tight to provide Christmas for their families. There are others “ahead of us” in waiting for a referral (where we would be matched with our daughter). But one step at a time, requirements are being met that will lead to us rescuing our daughter. We are being reminded of the peace He offers even now.
It’s not a peace that declares “Everything will go well from now on.” After all, it wasn’t long after the arrival of Jesus that Herod ordered the horrible slaughter of babies across the land. In this we are reminded that peace is so much more than “things going well”, or a quiet starry scene with someone singing “Silent Night” in the background.
Peace, is the presence of God in our midst. Immanuel. In our joy. In our worries. In our suffering. We have a peace that passes understanding. We will have it still tomorrow. Breathe deep…and be thankful…