“To guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79).
I received an email from a friend whose husband died a few years ago. Left alone to raise her children, she has persevered against all odds and struggled to keep her family together and to keep her faith strong. I would say she has done a magnificent job but it has not been easy. Not long ago she faced a debilitating health issue that threatened to set her aside for a period of time. She spoke of the lack of energy she felt and the times of discouragement. Then she told what the Lord had done for her:
The special blessings and gifts that I see God provide each day fill me with joy. This has been hard, and I've had to put myself on the bench from my normal responsibilities. God gave me an illness that causes me to daily see his provision and sufficiency to provide. He turned my fear upside down and provided joy.
When we think of guidance, we tend to focus on the decisions of life. Should I get married? Is this the right job for me? Does God want me to be a missionary? Which college should I attend? But the guidance Christ provides goes far beyond the usual questions we ask. He guides us through the darkest moments of life, taking us by the hand, giving us strength to face the most difficult circumstances, and even giving us joy when we would otherwise build a condo in the valley of despair. The peace Jesus brings is the famed “peace that passes all understanding.” The believer has something the world doesn’t have, can’t buy, can’t duplicate, and can never take away.
I just noticed a phrase that made me smile. “He turned my fear upside down.” I love that! That’s what happens when Christ comes into a life and makes it his own. Joy, someone said, is the flag flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there. My friend, having lost her husband (though she will surely see him again), having faced many challenges, and even now dealing with physical weakness, has discovered supernatural joy. There is only one explanation: Christ has guided her feet in the path of peace.
Christmas is only a few days away. It strikes me that we have a wonderful opportunity to set our hearts right. Christmas is not about snow and candy canes and stockings by the chimney. Christmas is about transcendent truth; God has at last visited his people. All the rest is window dressing.
Good news! The Visitor from heaven is here at last. Will you drop everything and welcome him into your heart? Or are you too busy this year to be bothered with Jesus?
Good news! The light of heaven has come to earth. Will you open your eyes to see it?
Good news! Bethlehem’s Babe is the light of the world. Will you let him turn your fear upside down?
Lord Jesus, you have turned our fear upside down and replaced it with joy. May the challenges we face today lead us to say “yes” to your love. Amen.