As I reflect on the Christmas season and 'peace on earth good will to men' I was thinking of the word 'peace' and how I have had many 'peace tests' in the past three years. In my spiritual journey or 'walk' I have had to learn to develop peace. Situations arise which are out of my control where humanly speaking I could 'pop a cork' but I have to let go and give it to God. I have one right now. In two days we are supposed to go on a cruise. In going over the paperwork my travel agent gave me I can not find anywhere the trip cancellation insurance I thought I had purchased. Yikes! There is going to be a ice storm here tomorrow so I may be needing this. To make matters worse on this 'peace journey' the travel agents' office on post is closed til December 17th!! Now who closes a travel agent office during Christmas travel season? I guess they do. So here I sit trying to decide whether to fret the rest of the day away or go work on my Christmas tree decorating and finish packing. Hmmm. I mean I will lose a lot of money if we can not go and my agent let this fall through the cracks. So I am praying first for there to be no ice storm and maybe thinking of a back up plan like perhaps stay at airport hotel tomorrow so we are not having to drive on this ice at 4 a.m. As I am on my peace journey I go searching for Bible verses to make me rest in the Lord.
Now granted this type of peace is not the same as in the story of Jesus birth in the Bible where it mentions 'peace on earth good will to men' but I thought what better way to discuss the subject of peace.(See Luke 2:7-14 for the Christmas story.) Christmas is when we are supposed to be celebrating this 'peace on earth" but so many people seem strung out and stressed. Too many activities and not enough time alone with God perhaps or trying to live up to someone else's expectations of what a 'perfect Christmas' is then going overboard and wearing yourself down and running up charge card bills. You could add my travel troubles to this or your travel troubles for that matter depending on where you may be spending Christmas and you can have a real mix of craziness to drive you bananas. One thing I have done to alleviate man-made Christmas stress is to send my cards out as New Years cards sometime in mid to late January. Yesterday I enjoyed a nice brisk hike in a local state park in 23 degree temperatures, warm by Iowa standards. This was an excellent way to break away from the hustle and bustle. I may do it again today if time permits although today it is only 14 degrees as I write so maybe not.
Isaiah 26:3 says," You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." This morning Joyce Meyer was discussing tests in life too. She mentioned a verse in 2 Corinthians 1:9 which says, "But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead." Now this might be out of context but what I got from it was that we can be all flustered worrying about things but really we are to totally trust in God, nothing more. And pray of course.In Luke 18:1 it says to "pray and never give up." 1 Peter 5:7 says, " Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you." So there you have it. No matter what you may be going through God is there in the midst of it. Call on him. (See Jeremiah 33:3).
PRAYER: Father today we ask that you give us your perfect peace. Help us to rest in you and not to keep striving. Show us what is important to do and what can be left for later. Help us all to learn to let go and let God. In Jesus Name, Amen.