Everything was chaos. There was nothing peaceful about it. My emotions were swirling; tempers were flaring; there was mess in each room. It was not what I had envisioned for the first day of Advent. I wanted the Rockwell musical ambience flickering on our TV screen at that very moment (which, my husband informed me, was complete CGI).
And then our three-year old’s lines for our living nativity slipped into my mind and one phrase in particular echoed loudly: “Prince of Peace.” That led me down a path of reflection on the concept of peace. Peace is a treasured guest in our home while I would like to have as a permanent resident. It is my goal and primary focus every.single.day. I am ever tweaking routines and tones to make things run smoothly and keep feathers from getting too ruffled. But in my effort to clench peace tightly in my grasp it often slips right through my fingers.
I think often about Peter’s walking on water turning into treading on water. I ask myself, “How could someone face to face with the Creator of the waves begin to sink under them?” Perhaps it was because in his humanity he was easily distracted by temporary reality; he was swayed by the intensity of circumstances and his redirected focus lost sight of the One Who calms the storms.
I think Peter learned some heart-changing truths in his 3 years of journeying with Jesus. His letters speak to that. That comforts me as well; each time I begin to sink under the waves of my circumstances and am pulled up for air by my Savior, I learn that He is more real than the storm. Hallelujah! The Prince of Peace doesn’t always deliver calm to the situation but He does speak into my heart. Lasting peace comes from knowing Him and His sovereignty, knowing He is immovable by what devastates my world, knowing that He created me and called me to this day and will equip and provide for its demands.
Don’t get me wrong. I may know these truths but that doesn’t me I am serenely smiling through these upside down days. Each situation tests me anew. But each time I learn a little more and my heart returns to a peaceful state a little bit sooner than the last time. And truth be told, when I’m peaceful on the inside it usually transfers to the outside: my home, my family ( and maybe even the pets and plants too).