|Photo credit Karl Wagner|
We hear a lot about "Peace on Earth" this time of year. It's sung about, wished for and sent in greeting cards. And though we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace, tranquility can feel as distant as Bethlehem's star. ISIS, sexual misconduct, racism, wrongful death, and corrupt government - I hear about those in just one episode of the nightly news. There's also warring nations, human trafficking and hungry families. So much darkness woven into the fabric of this age. How do we reconcile these atrocities with a good and loving God? Jesus, the Prince of Peace?
Although the Eagles sang about a "peaceful, easy feeling", true peace often comes through difficulty, not ease. The bible acknowledges the inevitable bumps on life's road in John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." He also promised to guard our hearts and our minds and give us a peace that we can never truly understand (Philippians 4:6-7).
Trusting Jesus through the density of madness around us calms the mind and spirit in ways that defy human logic. As broken, sinful people we can't create our own peace. Believe me, I've tried. We are only capable of chaos. I want safety and security right now, but striving in my own strength only leads to greater strife. However... when I slow down I hear, "Be still, and know that I am God; [I am your] refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (from Psalm 46) And if I'm obedient to the Voice, I experience a serenity of the soul that supersedes my circumstances. Through any and all situations. The Prince of Peace has come.