It is the second Sunday of Advent, the day we light a candle labeled peace and remember the Prince of Peace. But I don't feel much peace this year. Just days ago, in a city very close to where The Hubs grew up, a place where his family members still live, terrorists killed fourteen people. We are told to trust our government, that they will keep us safe from this, but they don't. And now they want to limit even more the ways I can protect my family - ways guaranteed by the Constitution. This makes me anxious, angry, and unsettled. I do not feel the spirit of peace this week. Instead I feel sorrow, and I wonder what kind of country my children are going to grow up in?
We lit the candle, and I read from John 14. Jesus is telling His friends to not be troubled because He is going away to make a place for them and for those of us who believe. He promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, and He promises to leave us His peace. "Not as the world gives do I give to you," Jesus says. I'm wrestling with that tonight. How does Jesus give us peace in this world that offers false peace or no peace at all? I know He is the Prince of Peace, but I was hoping I'd feel it a little more than I do.
We also read the first part of Isaiah 11 tonight, and Bubby's big question was about the child playing over the cobra hole. "How can a kid play with a poisonous snake?" he wondered aloud. So I explained that someday Jesus is coming back and creating a new world for all His believers to live in where the animals won't be dangerous and everyone will be kind. There will be no more sin. "And He will kill all the wicked guys with just using His breath!" Bubby summarized.
"Peace on earth, goodwill to men," we sing, but that peace is not fully realized yet. I have peace with God because of the gift of Jesus taking God's wrath for me on the cross. I have peace in my heart, but the right-now-peace-on-earth seems not quite yet. I desperately want peace, but the peace I desire is not possible in this present world. Why won't you fix all of this right now, I pray. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, because this world just feels awful this week.
And then I recall 2 Peter 3:8-9, "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."
God Almighty is waiting because He wants more people to experience the peace that comes with repentance and leads to an eternity of peace. In these turbulent times, I will choose to rest in His plan, be obedient to what He calls me to do, and be thankful for the peace that I have in my heart and the peace I am assured of inheriting one day.