Philippians 1:2 – “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
As I sit in my favorite coffeeshop near the beach on December 31, 2014, planning and thinking ahead for the new year, I am consciously aware of how much is at stake in 2015. In my personal life, our family will soon go through a transition as our oldest child (no longer a child) moves away to finish up college. We haven’t been through this type of change before and it is harder than I envisioned. On top of that, there are ministry, financial and career decisions that will be made – not necessarily in that order. Although I cannot predict the future, change is in the wind. Does this sound familiar? I bet most of you have changes looming this coming year as well. I also sense, as many of you, that we are in a time of profound change in our culture and society. It’s hard to know where all the chips will land. So as the java flows and I finish my caramel vanilla latte, the question in my mind is “What do we need in 2015?” Specifically, what do I need as a parent, spouse, minister, provider? What do you need? To expand, what do we need as a Church, country and society? One word comes to mind: Peace.
I/we need peace. Real peace. Peace in knowing that our loved ones are going to be okay. Peace in the pew and the pulpit. Peace in the streets. Since I cannot control life, I have to either admit that I will live in perpetual chaos and resign myself to constant internal turmoil. Or I have to trust there is Someone who is in control, regardless of the outcomes. This is the only way I can keep it together. How about you?
The Bible promises we have peace with God if Christ is in us and we in Him. This is always the place we must come back to when the whirlwind starts to blow. I always have to go back to the cross, empty tomb and salvation. This is my starting point in trusting that God is handling the details regardless of how grim it looks. Even in loss He is handling the details. We can then experience the peace of God because our peace with God works itself out through us. Does this mean I’m not going to have a meltdown? Nope – not a chance – I’m a Type A. But it does mean I have the capacity for real peace and can recover when all the pieces are scattered.
I’m not trying to prescribe anything. There are no magic cures. I guess I’m just reminding myself (and hopefully you) that in 2015, as long as we are in Christ and He indwells us, we have the capacity to live a life with more hope than religion, politics and philosophy can ever offer.
Grace and Peace to you in this New Year!