By Barbara Higdon
As I prepared to write this Advent message, I reread many of the old Advent booklets from Woodland. So many previous writers have gone on to perfect peace with God, but their gifts remain. Some, like Joyce Williams, taught me how to face life in the face of overwhelming grief. Bobby Myers taught me that surrender to God could bring peace and strength to change. Milton Rhodes showed how believing in God didn’t mean suspending intellect. Lee Maresh modeled perfect ministry and love through a life of quiet servanthood. The courage and faith these and others show is a reminder that God’s peace is real and present and available.
My sister-in-law once paid a tremendous tribute to my mother. She said that when her first son was born, she was in a state of constant fear and anxiety. Anne’s own mother died when Anne was a small girl, and she was reared by busy grandparents. Even though they were medical professionals, they simply added to Anne’s worries about her infant son. My mother, however, put Anne completely at ease, gently nurturing both her and her baby. She reassured Anne and taught her the basic elements of parenting. She modeled peace and gave Anne peace of mind—just as she did for me.
We all face difficulties and fears throughout this earthly life. Jesus told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Jesus faced a tremendous conflict going on in His own soul at that very moment, and He knew the disciples would be fearful without Him. He left them (and us) a Comforter as well as earthly comforters and role models.
Lord, we give thanks for the peace that passes our understanding.