Day 1 | Peace
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
What is peace? Can peace be bought? How do we get peace when a storm ravages our entire world?
One stormy afternoon, I left work early to fetch my three-year-old little princess. A storm was brewing in the sky, so I would need to fetch her as soon as possible. Lightning crashed and heaven roared. As I got into my car, the heavens opened and it began to bucket down. It was scary. The gloom intensified with the darkness of the clouds, and I knew if I was unsettled she would be even more so.
It took me longer than usual to reach her school, traffic was slow and people drove cautiously. After a long and difficult drive, I arrived at her school, stopped the car, and ran to her class. Opening the door, I was met with big brown eyes filled with fear, tears streaming down her cheeks.
A loud yell came from her quivering mouth: “Daddy!”
She ran into my arms, crying uncontrollably. I knew at that moment that no amount of advice would soothe her—all she needed was her daddy. All she wanted was to be held tight, to feel safe…almost as if my presence alone brought her peace. No eloquently spoken words, no strawberry lollipop, and no other person could bring her peace. All she wanted was to be with me, then she knew everything would be okay.
Over Christmas I am reminded that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He is Emmanuel, God with us. I am reminded that just like my little girl, nothing can bring me peace like the presence of Jesus can. No wealth, no possession, and no gift can provide me peace amid a storm other than the presence and the arms of Jesus.
- Have you tried to find peace in any other thing, place or person? Did it last?
- Jesus isn’t offering you peace, He is peace. How does that make you feel?
- What do you need to do to experience peace this Christmas?
Day 2 | Impossible
Luke 1:31 (Luke 1:26-38)
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
I’m training to do my first triathlon next year. Why? Because I fell on my head as a child, that’s why. No really, to do a triathlon willingly is like hearing all politicians are honest…crazy right?
I sat down at my computer to plan my training, my diet, and obviously my kit. Scrolling through Google search results, I found my favourite brand: ADIDAS. The products I found were pleasantly surprising, except for the heart attack nearly suffered when I saw what their running shoes cost. Man, with that amount of money I could feed a city in Africa, and they’d make me king of the tribe.
What impacted me most was their slogan, “Impossible Is Nothing.” Short but powerful. A new twist on “Nothing Is Impossible.” Thoughts started running a triathlon in my head and I took a slurp of protein shake. When did we grow up and lose the belief that we could aim for anything? That we could be anything? As children we didn’t worry about food or money because we knew mom and dad had it sorted. When did we grow up and lose our power to believe again? When did we lose our belief in God to do what He said he would?
Imagine being Mary in today’s context. Mary is chilling, watching Justin Bieber YouTube videos when BAM! An Angel appears —insert Angelic music— telling her in a Barry White voice she’s gonna be pregnant (without having sex) and her son will be the king of the world. How hard would that be to believe?
Instead of doubting she believed. She believed that impossible is nothing for God. She didn’t know all the details, but she believed. If God could create the world with his words, hang the stars in the sky, and make humans out of dirt, then nothing is impossible for God. At Christmas I’m reminded again that anything is possible. Don’t stop dreaming, don’t stop believing, and don’t stop hoping. If God could do it once, He can do it again.
This Christmas remind yourself that nothing is impossible for God. Believe again in that dream. Believe that there will be a way when there seems to be no way. Believe that hope is alive.
- Where has God come through for you in the past?
- What do you need to give to Jesus and believe in the impossible?
Day 3 | Faithful
Luke 1:45 (Luke 1:39-56)
You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.
I really don’t like shopping. Yesterday, on a public holiday, I had to brave the mall like a fighter entering the Octagon. I wasn’t the only one. Many other “fighters” braved the mall, especially from the male genepool, their stone-cold faces filled with fear and determination knowing what the Octagon would throw at them. Sweat dripped down their brows, veins throbbed in their necks. They would dig deep in their pockets to pay for a gift and get out of the mall. It was insane. What I observed as many people left the Octagon (mall) was that most ladies left with a smile on their faces and a spring in their step, while many of their male counterparts left with scars that will never heal. After my struggle in the Octagon, I went home to recover, got myself a cold drink, and watched the movie “Liar Liar.”
In the movie, Jim Carrey plays a conniving attorney who is an ace in the courtroom, but his dishonesty and devotion to work ruins his relationships. His wife has left him for someone more dependable, and he often breaks the commitments he makes to his son, Max. Max wishes his dad would stop lying for twenty four hours, and Fletcher (Jim Carrey) suddenly finds that he can only speak the truth on the day his career-deciding court case is heard.
It got me thinking…How often did people not keep their word to me as a kid? How often have we not been faithful in keeping our word to others? When someone doesn’t keep their word and is unfaithful, we lose faith and we lose hope. In them and in humanity. This is the reason why many of us struggle to trust again, or why we live without hope. The person who broke our trust could be a partner, a friend, a spouse, a parent, a church, a sibling, etc.
Hope is a big thing. You can’t even have faith without hope. Hope is believing that God is faithful, and that he will work out all things for our good. Mary writes this song about how awesome and faithful God is. It was a song of hope. She knew God was faithful, and she knew God couldn’t lie. Our hope is only as valuable as the person or thing we place it in. Thirty three years later when her Son was crucified, she didn’t go into a flat spin like a fighter punched on the jaw. She still had hope because of God’s faithfulness in the past.
This Christmas I’m reminded that I can have and live in hope because of God’s faithfulness. The best is yet to come because God keeps His word. Even when I’m unfaithful, God remains faithful.
- Do you have a hard time believing that God is faithful?
- Where in the past has God shown himself faithful to you?