By Edie Dutton
Philippians 4:4-7 – Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness by evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I laughed when I received my assignment for the Advent booklet. How appropriate I thought. Not only is Philippians my favorite book of the Bible, but this set of verses—highlighted in blue—are the verses I return to over and over again when I need to be reminded from whom true peace is received.
Those who know me well know I like things organized, neatly packaged, and uncluttered. You might even say that I am a bit of a control freak. It is my attempt at peace. However, life tends to let me know that I can’t control much…my finances, my health, my kids behavior, and that I better not rely on that to bring me peace.
When I was a child, I knew my mom and dad were in control. I trusted them to love me, provide for me, and tell me “no” when necessary. They had proven themselves over and over again. As a result, my childhood was wonderfully peaceful. If I will place that same simple trust in our Heavenly Father, I can receive the gift of a “peace which transcends all understanding.”
As I read these verses in the light of Christmas, I am reminded that God IS near. We don’t need to be anxious about anything. He sent us his only Son to live among us, to teach us and to reconcile us to him. Let us receive the awesome gift of his Son and his peace with thanksgiving and wonder!