Peace is often described as the absence of war. There, of course, is some truth in that statement, but there are many types of wars we engage in other than the military type we think of. No doubt, the images of war that flash across our television screen demonstrate its horror and cost. It is terrible and it is ugly.
However, there are different types of ‘wars’ that you and I fight on a daily basis. These wars are subtle; they are the ones that are continually launched to destroy relationships, self-esteem, values, and integrity. This is where the wool gets pulled over our eyes time after time. These wars are dressed up in the best finery possible. They are masked to hide their true identity so that we are blind to their attack. For example, the drug culture is built on the premise that if one consumes that product there is a better world waiting. The promise that it pretends to offer can never be matched by the reality it delivers. Alcoholic beverage advertisements promote that when one consumes their product that there is a world waiting of sex, popularity and endless good times. However, never does the drug culture or the alcohol industry show the dangers of the consumption of their product; they never show the lives and families that are literally destroyed because of their use.
There are other wars that often engage in. The things that enter our mind from various sources (be it from whatever media, the Internet, or even from people around us) also can bring conflict. These can eventually be causes of a lack of peace in our hearts. Now here is the good news, and I don’t mean good news like you just won the lottery or that I can wave my magic wand and make all the bad things in your life disappear. The good news, the really good news, is that advent reminds us that peace came to earth on that first Christmas morning and to give us lasting peace.
We humans like to try and find our own way in life. We consider it very macho if we can take on the world and come out victorious. Unfortunately, this war that rages in us cannot be won if we are left to our own devices. We need outside assistance and that is where the advent comes into play. This is also where it gets tough for us machos. Because we do think we can make it on our own, we reject any aid for fear that it may crimp our style.
The peace that God desires to give us is wrapped up in gift form. And just like a gift you must open it or receive it in order to benefit from it. The Bible says it like this: “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” This gift is so incredible that it leaves you gasping for air. To think that a loving, holy God would give to humanity His perfect Son is the greatest news in the world. This gift is so precious that God would never force anyone to accept His gift; he looks for willing hearts to receive that treasure.
The solution to the war in your heart and mine today is not a self-help book or a ‘you-can do-it speech’. But it is a baby who was born to die a death, a death that we deserved, to give us what we didn’t deserve, and His peace. No, we don’t become perfect, we don’t have all the answers but rather, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Do you have THAT peace today?