Sometimes peace arrives unexpectedly … after we learn where to look for it. Read on as Jeannie Blackmer shares …
I’m typically not an anxious person but these past ten months I’ve realized I’m living with a constant, underlying sense of anxiety. Just going to the grocery store and seeing everyone wearing masks still causes me discomfort.
Recently my anxiety spiked. One of my sons drove from Colorado to California to start a two-year Physician Assistant’s program. He was facing so many unknowns; moving to a place where he knows no one, living with a person he hadn’t met yet, starting his career in the medical world in the midst of a pandemic, and driving over Colorado mountains in the winter in a car that is terrible in snow.
I tried not to worry and to trust he’d be okay but I found myself awake at night with dreadful thoughts swirling through my mind. I knew I needed peace and that this peace wouldn’t come from my own thoughts. Then unexpectedly, I remembered an encouraging song about Jesus being my Prince of Peace. The song helped me re-orient my thinking and turn to one my favorite prophetic titles for Jesus, Prince of Peace: “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Before Jesus came, a physical and spiritual darkness permeated the entire world as the Roman Empire marched forward conquering, controlling, and overpowering all in its path. Its violence and lack of morality incited great fear.
Hope was dwindling, joy was rare, and peace seemed unattainable. Then Jesus the Messiah was born - the angel’s message of peace came at the perfect time.
Just as the people of Israel longed for peace, we desperately need Jesus’ peace today. We are experiencing upsetting events, such as floods and fires, political division, racial tensions, and a pandemic, to name a few. I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling with a sense of peace, fighting an internal battle for inner calm in this chaos.
Although Jesus didn’t usher in the peace that the Israelites expected, he brought an all-encompassing, unexplainable peace. They had hoped for a King who would conquer the Romans, rather than a baby who would give them an eternal peace through relationship with him. He introduced a peace that the world had not yet known, a peace beyond understanding, to extend to future generations. As Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
The Hebrew word translated as “peace” is “shalom,” which means complete, total, sound, harmonious, and secure. In a blog, pastor and author Tim Keller writes, “Shalom experienced is multidimensional; a complete well-being, physical, mental, social and spiritual. It flows from all of our relationships being put right - with God, within oneself, and with others.” This peace doesn’t increase or decrease with circumstances; it is a constant sense of contentment despite what is happening in the world. This peace is available to us! When we experience this peace, chaos has a hard time interrupting the calm.
As we experience Jesus’ peace, we can also be peacemakers in a fractured, hurting world. We can be an island of calm in a storm of chaos. As a peacemaker, look for goodness, extend grace, and encourage unity. Be prepared to offer wisdom, show love, explain mercy, and model patience. We can proclaim peace on this earth as we move forward, choosing daily to trust him.
That daily choice to follow the Prince of Peace includes my time in the grocery store wearing a mask, and the bigger issues, of affirming that Jesus is the Prince of Peace over my adult children and the unknowns they may face.
Adapted from the MOPS International Advent Devotional by Jeannie Blacker, used with permission of MOPS International. mops.org/advent
Jeannie Blackmer is an author who lives in Boulder, CO. Her most recent book is Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer and she’s also recently contributed to several devotionals including, Mornings with Jesus, and One Minute Daily Devotionals. She worked at MOPS International as the publishing manager and also authored the 2011 theme book, MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering. She’s passionate about using written words to encourage women in their relationships with Jesus. She loves chocolate (probably too much), scuba diving, bee keeping, a good inspirational story, her family and being outside as much as possible. She and her husband, Zane, have three adult sons. Find out more about Jeannie on her website at www.jeannieblackmer.com.