This Christmas we don’t have parties scheduled every weekend, we’re not buying gifts for everyone and there’s no practices for church pageants or cantatas. As far as the holiday “hustle and bustle” is concerned, we’ve simplified and focused on what matters most, Jesus.
Why is it then, that I’ve never needed the Prince of Peace more?
Christmas always seems to pull back the layers and expose our hearts to something more, something we are missing. Every morning, I come downstairs and sit in the dark with the Christmas tree lights dancing, read my Bible, and talk to and listen to God. Often, my baby girl is fast asleep in my lap, and her soft breathing makes me wonder even more about the love of God and the miracle of Jesus’ birth. The calm is comforting. Which makes it ever more jolting when I leave and enter a world that cares nothing for the God I love and seems to have as its one and only goal to rob me of my joy and peace. And, too often, I lose that battle, getting frustrated and exhausted from its demands and expectations.
Maybe I haven’t gotten sidetracked this year by events, traditions, finding the perfect gift or hanging Christmas lights. But, peace doesn’t just happen. It takes consistent focus and continual connection to Christ.
That’s why when I read in Isaiah 30:15: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength,” I realize that salvation without peace isn’t complete. God didn’t save me, or you, for a life of inadequacy, dissatisfaction and distraction. He intends for us to be steadied by his love, forgiveness and patience. Through the peace He gives, our confidence can be found in His strength.
And, that’s what I come back to each morning, under the Christmas lights.