Peace Robbers and How to Lock Them Out

I have been trying for two weeks to write a simple, beautiful, poignant, impactful post about peace.

funny Christmas quote

The problem is I live in a world where things are not as they should be.

I wish my house was spotlessly clean and decorated like in the pictures. I wish my hors-d’oeuvres for the Christmas party would be most enticing, most delicious, while also being the most healthful, gluten-free, low- calorie little bites of deliciousness ever. I wish every minute with my family was filled with warmth and hugs and hot cocoa, but that isn’t the world I live in. (Some people will think that these are shallow problems. Who could worry about what kind of food you serve when there isn’t enough food of any kind? You are right, of course, but please read on anyway.)

In this world, my heart aches for so many people I love. The outcome is unknown.

That is one of the biggest peace-robbers.

The unknown sneaks into my thoughts during dark hours, steals my peace, and leaves, tires screeching as he goes.

My home was robbed a few years ago while we attended a Christmas program. It took us a moment to notice the terrible chill in the air when we walked into the house. There was broken glass on the floor by the door they’d broken to get in. Every drawer was open, valuables gone.

Sometimes peace robbers unlock a back door in my consciousness, ransack it, and grab my peace. The unknown breaks into my dreams, leaving what-if scenarios behind to spin in the empty spaces. Some people I love face deep vicious anger, or worse, apathy from the very people who should love them most. The ache of wounds sustained in these relationships steals peace. Sometimes peace is stolen by our expectations of ourselves. Each of us wants to be the one who pulls off the perfect Christmas party, looks slender and gorgeous in our tasteful festive clothing, decorates perfectly, gives all the most cherished gifts, and bakes the best cookies.

But all of this grows from lies. The father of lies, who is also the mastermind of the whole gang of peace-robbers, tells us that we should be able to manage this. Somehow with a bit more effort we should be able to make this world, or at least our own little piece of it, perfect and good. The truth is we can’t. Which is the whole reason we have Christmas.

C.S. Lewis quote - peace

 

 

We need a prince of peace

 

 

Peace doesn’t come from managing our worlds perfectly.

Peace comes from handing the mess over

to the only one who has enough power to overcome darkness. He is with us. That is the message of Christmas. He is in the process of once and for all defeating evil in every form, but he isn’t finished yet. While I wait for him to finish the job, I pry open my fingers, white at the knuckles from trying too hard, and drop myself, my worries, hopes, desires, and unrealistic expectations into his hands. Only the things he cares about really matter in the end. Only the things he wants me to do really need to get done.

Therefore:

My house won’t be perfectly decorated (not that it ever has been.)

I will light some candles to distract from the dust and clutter you’ll find if you look too close.

The food I fix won’t win any prizes.

I will once again diet and renew my commitment to exercise in January.

I will pray for you and place you in the hands of the only one who can defeat both the darkness and the peace robbers.

Every day this December I will get quiet and place myself, and you, and worries, frustrations and inadequacies in the hands of Immanuel.

I will  accept the gift I really want.

Though there are many counterfeits, genuine peace is very rare. There is only one place to find it, in the strong hands of the prince of peace.

gift of peace

I love this rewrite of a familiar song. I am going to take a deep breath, sit and enjoy it. Maybe you’d like to join me.

http://faithtap.com/2153/a-christmas-hallelujah/

This is the second post in an advent series. Click here for the one about hope.

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4 Responses to Peace Robbers and How to Lock Them Out

  1. Michelle Baylor December 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Thanks, Beth–a perfect fit, especially what I needed to hear today. I am challenged to let go of some lies and encouraged to keep on with what I love doing!

    • Beth Ratzlaff December 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

      I’m so glad, Michelle!

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