By: Gail Armatys, HeartSong Life Coach
As I ready my home for Christmas, plan evenings with friends, select the perfect gifts, enjoy this time of preparation and celebration with family, and in general, immerse myself into the spirit of the season, I am reminded that while now is a time when I may find pleasure, there are others that will, for the first or perhaps the 2nd or 20th time, find sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, stress, and frustration… a lack of peace. (Whew! You can take a breath now – long sentence!)
Medical professionals tell us increased sunlight, healthy eating, exercise, not over spending, and positive relationships help relieve depression and the lack of peace. All sound advice, not just for the holiday season but year-round.
If you are seeking peace – or perhaps you know someone who is – I must share with you that although incorporating the practices mentioned above can be beneficial, there is only one way to the perfect peace we really hope to find.
The Peace We Hope to Find
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
This scripture is Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah. The one who would remove the gloom and distress from his people…those who believe. Peace.
I could end there, but the unasked question is – where is this perfect peace hiding? It wouldn’t hurt for it to show up like, um, for instance right now, would it? I could use a little peace…TODAY please!!!
People are hurting. I’m hurting…where are you, Peace?
You are right. There are people in the world, in our communities, across the street, and in our families that do not look forward to Christmas this year or in years past. Perhaps a loved one has passed away and the memory of the Christmas that should have been hurts too much.
The emptiness may come in another form such as loss of a marriage, job, health, income, friendships or home and there is a sense of being cheated. Maybe the dread of something to come or unrealized expectations has stolen your peace. No matter the source… joy doesn’t seem to have a chance.
Or does it?
Peace Through Jesus Christ
Although sorrow comes in many forms and is written on countless hearts and faces – even during the Christmas season – maybe especially during the Christmas season – there is a way, one way to find perfect Peace.
Take a look with me …
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.
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
Old Testament or New, the message is clear. Told to us by prophet, Messiah, and apostle. The answer is the same.
This peace we seek is Jesus.
You, or your neighbor may say, “I believe, so why does it still hurt so much? Why this emptiness…sadness?”
Look again at what this last scripture, Acts 10:36, tells us. See the words, through Jesus Christ? Hmmm. What does that mean?
Here, the word ‘through’ means road, route, way. It requires movement, a process, a going about something toward an end. In this case, it means seeking, calling on, listening to, knowing, questioning, believing, and stepping toward Peace.
The pain doesn’t go away all at once. It is a process. Step by step, there is a way…
I am the way and the truth and the life…
In this special season, when we see or know of another who is struggling, hurt, in pain and experiencing sorrow, let’s be bold and step out of our comfort zone to help them move through toward Peace.
A hug shared, a helping hand, an invitation, time spent, a smile, a kind word or deed…all are good places to begin to help them through.
If that person is you, receive the embrace when offered; accept the invitation, smile, kind word or deed. Experience the hug and love of Jesus.
For this Christmas season reminds us there is just one way to perfect Peace.
Jesus. Nestled in a manger. A child. A son. A savior.
Praise you for the gift of Jesus, Father. Thank you that when I surrender my frustrations, sadness, and pain to you, you promise to walk through it with me. Help me to receive you: Peace in a manger. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
- Be purposeful about inviting Jesus into your day and knowing him more this season.
- Memorize John 14:27.
- Look for those who need encouragement. Go out of your way to serve those who are sad or lonely. Name someone right now you can help. What will you do to encourage them today?
- Spend time with friends. Laugh. Sing. Seek perfect Peace in a manger.
Special Note: Faith United Methodist Church offers a Service of the Longest Night for those who find the Christmas season bittersweet and seek a time of healing for their hearts.
Thursday, December 18 @ 6:30-7:30pm
4600 FM 359, Richmond, Texas
If you do not live in the Richmond area, please search for a church that may offer such a service that you might attend.
Listen to Your HeartSong Here!
Live the song written on your heart