November 18, 2016
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …” Colossians 3:15a (ESV)
I hurried out the door, but moments later my steps came to a screeching halt.
The day on the calendar told the story of my birthday. And this particular year, I asked for a pedicure. But the unfamiliar car parked in the driveway was not a part of the plan.
"Luuuuuke," I yelled on my way back inside the house. "What is going on?"
With a mischievous smirk, my husband let me in on the secret he’d been keeping for days. “Take a girls’ day,” he said. “I’ve got the kids. I'll see you tonight.”
I walked back outside to find one of my friends poking her head out the window. Still a little startled, but with growing excitement, I hopped in the back seat and away we went.
There I sat. No kids, no dishes, no laundry or list of to-dos. No demands to meet. No details to arrange. All I had to do was breathe. So I did. I took a big, deep breath, then smiled and settled back in my chair.
The stillness spelled P-E-A-C-E … and that two minutes, or so, was awesome.
But before we even made it out of the driveway, the wheels in my head started spinning. Are we going to turn in front of that car? I better buckle up.
And so it began.
The rest of the ride I balked from time to time. How fast are we going? Is the driver texting and driving?!
My awareness at least prompted me to put up a fight for peace. But it became obvious that I can create my own state of tension and exhaustion. Anywhere. Anytime.
Then the day after my birthday happened. In a nutshell: Total anarchy.
The kids must have held a secret midnight meeting where they clearly decided to try to unseat me from my position of authority. It’s the only logical explanation for what went on at my house. Weeping. Kicking. Screaming. The mother of all meltdowns (mine and theirs). But as the day wore on, I noticed something inexplicable … a smile. On all of our faces.
Stress in the car on the way to a girls’ day. Peace in the kitchen while all of my little blessings fight over where to sit. This seems backwards, I know, but I think our key verse sheds some light on it, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15a). In the midst of chaos, I chose to let Christ’s peace rule.
It’s tempting to believe peace lies just around the corner of success or simplicity.
When I get that promotion or potty train all the kids …
When this relationship works out …
When that vacation rolls around …
That’s when I’ll find peace.
But if we tie peace to the rise and fall of our circumstances, we’re likely to land on a ride filled with disappointment. Peace is not an arranged place or set of circumstances; it is an intentional position of the heart.
The Amplified Bible describes the peace of Christ as “the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him.” This concept reminds me of my toddler, who likes to perch right on top of my feet.
While I cook or brush my teeth or talk to a friend, she seeks me out and sits down. She usually tinkers with a toy she’s brought along. I hear her talking to herself or maybe singing a song. She never misses a beat … until I move. Because when I move, that means she needs to move, too.
By positioning herself close to me, she knows where I am and when I move, and she has access to unbroken fellowship with me.
God makes the same gifts available to us. Jesus’ nail-pierced feet eagerly wait to be our seat. Our place to find confidence to know His will, access to enjoy His fellowship and intimacy to walk with Him step by step.
As we approach the holiday season, let’s make this truth the centerpiece. Let’s not sacrifice our daily walk with God for the daily urge to do more. Instead, let's purpose to pursue a heart, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness … to God” (Colossians 3:16b, ESV). Because peace truly can rule in our hearts anywhere, anytime.
God, I want the peace of Christ to rule in my heart. Show me the places I seek peace apart from the company of Christ and give me the courage to lean on You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
We all need reminders to help us find peace and remember God’s goodness as we approach the hectic holiday season. That’s why we’re offering products like the “Untie Your Memories” napkin rings — wonderful conversation starters for holiday meals together. And we have the Olive Wood Nativity Scene again this year — a beautiful reminder to pause and give thanks for the greatest Gift of all, Jesus. You can purchase these and other holiday items we have available here.
Stop by Katy McCown’s blog today for more encouragement on how to enjoy a peaceful holiday season.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Where do you find peace? Is it dependent on a specific situation or set of circumstances?
What is one thing you can do this week to move closer to the “inner calm of one who walks daily with Him”?
© 2016 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 18 November 2016.