This has been a year of change for my husband and me; some could use the word “upheaval” and not be too far off. My beloved was laid-off, which started a series of events that included a financial re-evaluation of life, a move to another state, and a year-long search for a permanent job. In the midst of this, two close family members have struggled with serious health crises, as well.
So as we begin this season of Advent, my heart has been seeking the Lord’s word about peace. There are many reasons to not feel “peace,” as our culture defines it. Too many presents to purchase and wrap (and not enough money to buy them), too many cookies to bake (and not enough time to walk off the ones I eat), too many people’s problems to pray for (and not enough energy to stay awake to pray), and too many worries in this life (and not enough thankfulness for everything He sends my way).
In our new church, my husband and I are taking a Hebrew language class. One of my favorite words in the language is shalom, which was translated peace in English. Our culture’s definition for peace is not exactly what the Lord had in mind, though. Shalom is not absence of troubles, for in this world, Jesus said, we will have troubles. Shalom is not the absence of strong emotions, for Jesus displayed strong emotions many times. In our study of Hebrew, shalom comes from the root shin-lamed-mem (Hebrew letters), which means “complete, perfect, full.” God on High sent His precious Son, Y’shua – our Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) – to make us complete through salvation, perfect through His blood, and full of His Presence so that we can give ourselves away for others.
As we enter into this busy season filled with things that don’t always look or feel “peaceful,” we can be filled with true peace, the shalom that is given by the Prince of Shalom.
Abba, thank You for Your peace, the true peace of knowing Your salvation, of being perfect before You in Jesus, and of being filled with Your Presence. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, help me to fix my mind on how You have brought true peace to my life. Please help me share Your peace with all those You bring across my path this Christmas.
─ Mrs. B (2009)