Peace. For many of us, if we could have one wish fulfilled it would be for peace – peace in our own lives and peace in our world. But so often peace seems so far away. The storms of life seem to wash our peace away, and that doesn’t even begin to address the daily deluge of headlines that fill us with anxiety for the world in which we live. But it is into that very darkness that the promise of Advent comes, “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us. He is Christ the Lord, the Prince of Peace.”
In the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus we discover that God is with us and that God is for us. We see that God is at work bringing the light of reconciliation and restoration into the darkness of all that sin has broken. In Jesus we dare to believe that in the end God wins, and therefore we and all of creation win. That’s the foundation of our peace.
How do we learn to experience that peace right here and right now? The answer to that question takes us right back to the spiritual practices of silence, solitude, simplicity, slowing down, spiritual friendship, gratitude, celebration and meditation. These practices help us to become more accomplished at experiencing peace in daily life. They teach us to be grounded in God’s presence in the moment, rather than blown about by the hurt and pain of our past or our anxieties about the future. The pathway to experiencing more peace in the inevitable storms of life is being intentional about the spiritual practices that train us to be mindful of the goodness of God in the moment, rather than living in the past or the future,
Perhaps today peace seems absolutely unobtainable to you. Broken relationships, a frightening diagnosis, the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, a child or grandchild who has gone astray – these are just a few of the life-circumstances that can make peace seem elusive. But I promise you that peace is available, just as surely as above the storm clouds there is bright blue sky.
Stop right now, take a deep breath and ask yourself: do I have everything I really need in this moment? Not everything you want, not every answer to every question. Do you have what you really need in this moment? The Prince of Peace is present with you, right now. You are never alone, never forsaken, always loved and always forgiven. God is at work in ways you can see and in what you can’t imagine. And in each and every moment that faith and trust opens us to experiencing the peace that passes all understanding.
It Is Well with My Soul is one of my favorite hymns, celebrating inner peace. You can listen to one of my favorite versions of this old hymn by contemporary Christian artist, Wayne Watson, by clicking here.