Holy Asides
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December 16, 2014, 9:29 AM

Waiting for Peace

Advent is a time of waiting: waiting for Jesus to return; waiting for Christmas to come; waiting in airports, check-out lines, and traffic jams; waiting for students to finish finals and come home; waiting for packages to arrive in the mail. Generally speaking, there is nothing very peaceful about waiting. Waiting is stress-filled and anxiety-laden. Will my package arrive in time? Will the kids catch their flight? Will I get done all the things I need to before it’s too late? And yet it is in waiting that God offers “peace.”


I am not referring to the sort of “waiting” that occurs in quiet, stilled prayer (although that certainly brings peace as well) but the “waiting” of active anticipation. While we wait for our friends and neighbors to arrive at a dinner party, we are not simply sitting on the couch watching out the window. We are finishing our preparations: the table is being set; the dinner is cooking; the music is playing at the right volume in the background. Even in this often hectic rush, we feel a great sense of joy when the doorbell rings—the waiting is over.


There are a myriad of times throughout our lives where we are overwhelmed, over-burdened, and flat-out confused about the events that are taking place. Why am I sick? Why did I lose my job? Why did this break-up happen? We cry out to God for answers, and yet there often seems only an echo of our own voice in reply. We “wait” for God’s voice. We “wait” for the answer. It often seems like it takes forever. And yet, it is in daily life—living our lives in faithfulness, in trust, in hope—where we are “waiting” for God. And in this “waiting” comes peace; peace which surpasses all of our understanding. Because often those life events have not changed. The only thing that has changed is ourselves, who are now filled with the “peace” that comes through God alone. 


May we be filled with the peace of God, who sent the “Prince of Peace” to us this Advent and Christmas season.

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