The Second Advent Candle (Peace)
Peace has never been my strong suit. Long ago a doctor diagnosed me with "free-floating anxiety." Doesn't sound too professional, does it? I accepted his opinion as fact— simply how I was wired—and worked around it. However, God shook up this acceptance of my unsettled heart as I lit the second Advent candle of Peace.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6-7 (NAS).
I've read this verse more times than I can count but God spoke it directly into my heart last Sunday. Internal anxiety and external circumstances (in the big world and my little one) are not too big for God. I do not need to accept anxiety as part of who I am. As God's child, He knows what unsettles my heart—what keeps me walking in circles. All He asks of me is that I prayerfully and thankfully hand Him my neediness and fear. He knows how I am wired and while the peace I am given is beyond my understanding it is not beyond my receiving.
This doesn't mean, in my humanness, I won't react to circumstances or come undone from time to time. But it does mean I don't have to stay on that merry-go-round forever. I don't understand how it works, and the world and my circumstances may not change, but when I give my unstrung thoughts and feelings to Jesus, He will settle His peace on my overwrought heart.
This baby boy God sent to save us knew each of us before He was born. He knew our weaknesses and crazy ways. He grew up and made the journey to the cross for us. As Jesus, our Savior, was saying farewell to His disciples, He told them,
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" John 14:27 (NAS).
He offers the same peace to us. Let us remember with open hearts as we worship the baby in the manger.