How many times have you heard a beauty contestant say, “I want to work for world peace!” ? There have been songs written about peace. There have been peace conferences – peace accords throughout history. Yet, has this world ever had peace throughout the earth? NOPE – with the exception of a few moments in the Garden of Eden, this world has been a chaotic and often dangerous place to be.

On December 24, 1914, a German messenger came across the field called “no mans land” in St. Yves, Belgium – also known as the Western Front of World War I. The message asked for a Christmas Day truce – a cease of aggressive hostilities for the day. As the sun arose on Christmas Day some German soldiers began to sing some Christmas Carols and light candles. Then the British Soldiers began to sing their carols. A few soldiers began to step out of their trenches into “no mans land”.

Then more men began to come out. They shared cigarettes and other gifts with each other. A “football game” (aka Soccer) broke out among them.

It was a good day – a day not orchestrated by governments, but by men who had a heart for Christmas…. and they had peace that day in the midst of a bloody war.

When the Angels announced the birth of Christ, it wasn’t to the important government leaders, it was to shepherds tending their flocks in the fields. The message was simple and clear – “An angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to the shepherds in the field. The glory of the Lord filled the area with light, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…. Then suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on Earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:9-11, 13-14

The Bible goes on to say that this message moved the shepherds to go and see the baby Jesus that very night. There was great peace in their hearts as they traveled and then shared the message.

Today, we have a choice, like the men in St. Yves, Belgium in WWI – to choose peace, or to accept the chaos that only wants to overwhelm us. Jesus told us in His word that He came to give us His peace. Yet, along with depression, anxiety is the most prevalent mental health challenge. Why is that? I believe it’s because we take our eyes off of God! When Jesus called Peter out of the boat to walk on the water, he was fine until he took his eyes of off the One who called him. As he grew worried and anxious, the waves and the sea overwhelmed him. He began to sink. Isn’t that what happens with anxiety today?

In the book of Isaiah, he gives us a prescription for peace –

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts You!” Isaiah 26:3

In the midst of your day today, as you begin to feel anxiety overwhelm you, look to Jesus. Speak His word back to Him – “Lord, I am placing my mind on You. Help me to be in perfect peace that Your word tells me is mine. I choose the peace of Christ today!” He will bring all the peace of Heaven to your heart.

Merry Christmas!

Cliff

 

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