The Peace of Christmas

It doesn’t feel like Christmas.

The tree is up and bright with lights–we just never got to the ornaments.  The porch is partially aglow with twinkling red and green and the wreath brightens the door–but the yard is dark and normal. 

Just as our decorating began this year, we rushed our son Connor to the ER.  After 5 long nights and prayer-filled days, God answered our prayers for healing-He is home and we rejoice!  But we also wait for the next set of tests just after Christmas.  Thus, the usual feeling of Christmas has been replaced…. with a stronger and deeper meaning and we are enjoying a gentle peace that is nothing short of miraculous! And it has me thinking so much of Mary on that first Christmas night.

That first night… I think the shepherds must have felt uncontainable excitement as the angels announced the birth and they rushed off to find the baby.  The wise men were bursting with jubilant elation as they set out to follow the star and find the new King– but Mary… Oh how Mary must have been filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding as she held her sweet baby boy- the King!  Yes, she her body ached and hurt, and yes, she must have been scared and confused, but I have no doubt that she must have been blessed with incredible peace as she gazed into the perfect eyes of a perfect Savior!  I weep at the depth of peace and long for a taste and God fills me to overflowing!!

This peace, a deep, unexplainable peace that chases away all fear– I am clinging tight to it and breathe it in with every breath.  The enemy has tried to steal it and take my mind away from the majestic power of the King-but that peace is only a prayer away and the fear and doubt are silenced.

How do we get… and keep this peace?   God tells us! (Philippians 4:6-7)

Be anxious for nothing…  Choose to focus on God and reject every thought that is not of Him!   We must truly be anxious for nothing–no thing or thought is worth the cost of our peace- let go of the worry and focus on God!

but in everything by prayer and supplication we must pray!  Even when we don’t have the words or don’t feel His presence… we must pray and maintain a heart focused on Him!  He knows our heart and He wants us to turn to Him in our time of joy and our time of need–PRAY!

with Thanksgiving… God promises us that even in our pain and trials, a thankful heart will have peace–and He keeps His promises!  Think on the things to be thankful for- no matter if they seem small.  Start listing and naming each one and the focus of your heart will begin to change and the fear will be replaced by peace!

let your requests be known to God… He knows your heart already, but tell Him anyway! He wants to hear your voice and He longs to speak to Your heart- tell Him!

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus!  

The peace of God will fill us AND that same peace guards our hearts and minds! He stands guard over us and will not let the enemy steal what He has given!  His peace is everlasting and available to us for the taking–no more worry and fear of anything in this world!  That’s what I want… that’s what I need and that is what I want to keep!

So as Christmas Day approaches, will I finish the decorating?  I’m not sure–probably not.  Will I rest in His love and let Him guard my peace?  Absolutely! God goes on in His Word because He knows my tendency to slide back into fear… to let worry creep back in so He tells me and He tells you that our thoughts matter.  What we think about will affect our peace.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Thank You Jesus for coming to earth! Thank You Jesus for Your perfect life! Thank You Jesus for defeating sin and death and offering me eternal life! Thank You Jesus for the peace that is beyond all human understanding!  Help me and equip me to focus on things that are true, things that are right, and things that are worthy of praise- strengthen me to dwell on these things and not the fear or worry of this world.  Fill me to overflowing with Your peace and guard my heart and mind as I trust You!  

This Christmas is all about life- the life of our son, the lives of our family, and most of all, the life of Jesus!  I wish all our friends and family a very Merry Christmas!

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