Peace and Hope to a Broken World

It’s the first of December.

As much as I wish I could write a lighthearted post about Christmas – I have to admit that my heart was heavy today.

It seems as though the last few weeks have been filled with sad news.

Dear people suffering through hard things.

Loss. Pain. Uncertainty.

Broken hearts. Broken bodies. Broken dreams.

Everywhere from the national news to my inbox, I’m reminded that we live in a broken world.

Yet, as my heart wept again this morning over more painful news, God brought the opening song of our children’s Christmas program to mind.

It begins on the streets of Bethlehem and the plaintive sounds of a violin is heard mournfully crying, “O come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel…”

Then the children start singing –

“Who will save us? Who will comfort those who cry?

Who will free us – is He right before our eyes?

How long must we wait for deliverance?

When will God turn his head and hear us?

And bring peace and hope to a broken world.

And bring peace and hope to a broken world.”

That cry is still heard today.

People are searching for hope.

For peace.

For comfort.

People are still living in darkness and fear.

People are still asking when God will turn His head and hear them.

But the story doesn’t end there.

It goes on to tell about a baby born to a virgin mother.

It tells of angels proclaiming the news to shepherds on the hills outside of Bethlehem.

A Savior is born!

Emmanuel!

God with us!

The children continue to sing –

“That holy night, when mercy fell like rain,

and God broke through our darkness and our pain.

That holy night, when love came down to earth.

Emmanuel with us, in a fragile baby’s birth.”

God broke through the darkness.

He broke through the pain.

He sent mercy!

That holy night brought hope.

It brought peace.

The world all around us is broken and hurting.

We have the answer.

As we enter this Advent season, may our hearts know it.

May our lives reflect it.

May our words echo it.

He will save us. He will comfort those who cry.

He will hear us, He has opened up our eyes.

Jesus is king, King forever.

Praise to God who is faithful to save us.

He is peace and hope for a broken world.

That’s what my heart needed to hear today.

How about yours?

 

 

 

 

Feast or Famine

I had a lovely conversation with a dear friend today. She shared openly how, as farmers, they did very well last year, but it looked like this year they were going to barely break even.

We decided in rural America it’s often either feast or famine.

But in time, we’re learning to accept it.  We’re learning to be thankful for the blessings in the good years and trusting God to provide in the lean ones.

We’re discovering that God really does see the big picture where we see only a glimmer.  His provision and plan for us is perfect, whatever our situation may be.

“When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot
, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul…”

~ Horatio G. Spafford

Feast or famine, good times or hard ones, our God is still in control.

“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” ~ Phil. 4: 11-12

A Life of Peace

Peace.

It’s a lovely word. Webster’s defines it as ” a state of tranquility or quiet.”

I think we would all like to live a peaceful life. But my life, on any given day, can be anything but tranquil or quiet!

The peace I need is the inner peace that comes from a deep and abiding faith. It’s the calm assurance that God loves me and has the very best for me, even in the dark days.

Patsy Clairmont said it well:

“A calmer faith. That’s the quiet place within us where we don’t get whiplash ever time life tosses us a curve. Where we relax (versus stew, sweat and swear) in the midst of an answerless season. Where we are not intimidated or persuaded by other people’s agendas but moved only by Him. Where we weap in repentance, sleep in peace, live in fullness, and sing of victory.” ~ Patsy Clairmont, Living Above Worry and Stress

“Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalms 119:165