Longing for Peace, Comfort & Joy
Suddenly, it seems we have left fall behind and Christmas is coming quickly. Even the weather decided along with all the retailers that Thanksgiving is the last day of fall before we are headlong into the Christmas season.
And honestly, I am ready for it this year. I am longing for a season of peace and comfort & joy. However, I am not so sure, that just because it snowed and Christmas is only three weeks away that is really going to happen this year.
Don’t you wish that the Christmas season really was the time of peace, comfort and joy like all the movies and songs portray? A time to sit around the fire with friends, or snuggle up to a movie with loved ones still donned in pajamas? A time to be a homebody and slow down.
Oh, how this is the longing of my heart for this Christmas season. I really want to slow down and just have some peace, comfort and joy for me and my family. Somewhere deep inside I know I need it, but not so coincidentally, none of my responsibilities seem to be lining up with this vision.
While typically work travel is nonexistent after Thanksgiving, I have not one but two asks to be at our corporate office in December. One the week before Christmas! And work does not seem to be making any plans to slow down in December at all. In fact, it seems that no one told the chaos that the holidays are around the corner, and it seems only to be picking up speed. Things last week did not go my way and it seems that I will only be working harder to get everything in order for the new year throughout December.
And we all know that as a mother of three, and the wife, my responsibilities only pick up during the holidays. We need gifts, and good meals cooked. We need presents wrapped and shipped. I need to find something nice to wear to the Christmas parties and church services for all of us.
I am not sure how I am supposed to slow down when all my responsibilities seem to be speeding up. How can I not work harder when everything is on the brink of falling apart? I am so worried about all of these loose ends. I feel like I need to tie them off. I need to control all this chaos, so I must work harder.
Even on my days off this week for Thanksgiving, I could not stop worrying about Monday and all the things that still need to be done before the end of the year. Do people realize we only have sixteen working days left before Christmas eve?
I think that our world says that we can have peace once we get everything under control. If we work hard enough to maintain control then everything will be peace filled and joyful. We can rest in comfort then. But it seems that we can only rest in peace in our graves if maintaining control is the answer.
I have nothing under control at work right now, and yet, I feel my soul calling me to slow down anyway. I feel God saying that this season should be a time of peace, comfort and joy despite all the things that need to be done. So, I went on a walk through the fresh glistening snow and God said something to me that struck me like never before. He said, Micah, peace is not the absence of work, it is the absence of worry.
Wow. That deserves a second read. Peace is not the absence of work; it is the absence of worry.
This is so true. I know because even on my day off on black Friday I was still not peaceful. I was full of worry instead and because of this, I missed out on some joyful moments the day contained.
Peace, real peace, the kind that brings comfort and joy is knowing that God is in control and that He is good. It is knowing that He is present in our every day lives, all the details and the chaos, and is working things out in His time. It is allowing God to do His will in the chaos and letting go of control of the outcome as I find myself trying to do with each situation at work.
Truthfully, I don’t have peace because things are not going my way and I worried about them. Instead of trusting God that He will make all things well so I do not have to worry, I fret and fret as though my worry can help the situation. Instead of focusing on God’s presence in my life, I worry about work and am not present in the joy of the present. See worry is a funny thing. Worry is always in the future, and being in the future robs you of the joy in the present.
So, as hard as it sounds, I can have peace, comfort and joy this season, even amidst the chaos. If I truly believe that God is in control, rather than me, and that He is good, than I can stop worrying about the future. I can be at peace with what is, and that God is fixing it, while enjoying the comfort and joy of the present moment.
Peace, comfort and joy seems worth the try.
Let’s Pray: Father, you are good and your plans are good. You desire peace and good for each one of us. You have given us peace, comfort and joy despite our trouble by overcoming the world. Lord, help us keep our eyes on you instead of the worries of all the troubles in the broken world around us by knowing that you are in control and working all things out. In Jesus name, Amen.