A Season of Peace
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Gathering around the kitchen table at the homeless shelter, we lit the purple Advent candle that symbolizes peace. Peace that is sometimes in short supply for those living at the shelter. Peace that is sometimes elusive in my life as well.
This small group of women and I talked about the different things we use to fill our soul’s desperate need for peace: relaxing music, bubble baths, soothing candles, food, cigarettes, and even turning to the escape found in alcohol and drugs. We talked about addictions that had destroyed all illusions of peace for some - along with jobs, relationships, and even health.
We talked about what happens when the music is turned off, the bath water grows cold, and the candle melts down into a puddle of cold wax. We commiserated about feeling miserable after a food binge and how the desire for one cigarette just produces the desire for another. We agreed that when the high is gone and a hangover has taken its place, we are left once again searching for peace.
As we talked, we began to realize what a wonderful gift peace actually is. But how do we find true and lasting peace? How do we hold on to peace when our situations are anything but peaceful? We found the answer in Isaiah’s prophecy that a child would be given us whose name would be the Prince of Peace.
We reflected on the times when we had turned to Christ seeking peace and how He had always proven Himself faithful. In that small kitchen, with the flame flickering on the candle of peace, peace began to flicker in our souls as well. No, our situations hadn’t changed but our minds and souls had been transformed by the peace of God that transcends understanding. Glory to God in the highest, for to us a child was born and He is the Prince of Peace.
Father, thank you for Your peace that is beyond our understanding. Help us to feel Your peace today.
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“Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God”. ~Augustine