I experience an unexplainable peace in the midst of tumultuous events. Unexplainable in human terms, that is. The days following my father’s death. Delivering an eulogy at funerals, while sitting with my own grief. Riding along with our little girl to the ER after she fell and broke her arm. Handling difficult, monumental decisions that could be a source of great stress.
Each time, certain peace rushes into the situation. It’s the mystery we read about in Philippians 4:6-7:
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we find ourselves in trying times, prayers often go on autopilot. We cry out for the Lord to help us when we need him most. What do we have to be thankful for in these trying times? For one, the assurance we have a Holy Spirit groaning on our behalf, and Jesus interceding for us at the right hand of the father. Without even realizing it, our prayers invite peace to cover us like a blanket. Anxiety lessens. Every member of the trinity has gone to work, on our behalf. In Christ Jesus, our hearts and minds receive divine protection. Peace.
We put up our wooden nativity this time of year. I often reflect on those characters who played a significant role in the Christmas story. Consider the shepherds. Talk about a tumultuous event. To them, it seemed like an ordinary night in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks.
Suddenly. An angel of the Lord appeared to them. A whole company of heavenly hosts joined the angel.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
Nothing like this had ever happened to them. Few people pay them any attention at all, and now an angel arrives, telling them them about glory and peace and favor. After the angel told them to not be afraid, did they perhaps offer up a few prayers of their own? Did these prayers usher in the peace of God, which passes all understanding? For surely, they didn’t understand. Fields were abandoned in a mad rush to see a baby born in Bethlehem. There, they found the Prince of Peace, lying in the manger.
As believers, we find our peace in Jesus, even when peace seems impossible.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Traci Rhoades writes on her blog, Traces of Faith, from her kitchen table in rural Michigan, not far at all from Lake Michigan’s shoreline. When she first started sharing her words, she wondered about what unique voice she could bring. She’s landed on this one-line description: A Country Girl Goes To Church.
Want to connect with Traci? Find her on Twitter: TracesofFaith; Facebook: Tracesoffaithblog; Instagram: tracirhoades3