The word PEACE is often used in our vocabulary as the absence of conflict but in the context of scripture it means complete or whole, a state of completeness. To make complete or to restore. The Jewish people thought Jesus was born to bring them political restoration. Jesus’ plan was much bigger, His purpose was to restore mankind to Him.
Unfortunately, I try to find peace in this troubled world in my own wisdom and strength. Instead of just trusting in the fullness of Christ, I want Him to fix my earthly problems, much like the Jewish people in their hopes that He would overthrow their government. I’m so busy focusing on the here and now that I don’t see the bigger purpose, the eternal plan.
Last Christmas our family was clinging to the last few excruciating weeks of my dad’s life on earth. Only then, almost a year ago, as we gathered each day in my parent’s bedroom around my dad’s hospital bed, did I finally learn what true peace was. Even in our struggle and trauma that life can bring to us….Jesus is enough. As we watched my dad slowly slip away day by day, there was nothing we could do. In those moments, we only had Jesus, and that was all we needed. Somehow in the sadness and desperation of our situation, Jesus gifted us with His powerful peace. I don’t understand it, I struggle to articulate it but the restoration and wholeness of Christ brought miraculous peace into an otherwise devastating circumstance. As terrible as those last couple of months were, I am humbled and thankful for God teaching me the true meaning of peace and the shift from an earthly perspective, to a heavenly one.
The following two paragraphs are my mom’s words about our time as we, as a family, had the privilege and holy experience of watching God usher my dad into His presence and the peace that we felt in such an unexpected place…
Somewhere along the line of our journey with ALS, our bedroom became transformed into a hospital room. All the equipment needed to care for Gary took over the room more than we liked but it was all part of the process. Our master bedroom (turned in-home hospital room) became our place to live, read God’s Word, pray, sing, greet friends, laugh, cry, worship and fall more in love with each other and Jesus. We also learned to be more eternally minded rather than focused on earthly things. Learning to cherish every moment given and doing the best to make the most of each minute of every day. Our bedroom became a sacred place where we lived out those last precious months with Gary. It was where we held hands and remember our lives together. We shared our love for one another and our hopes and dreams for our children and grandchildren. It was in that room that we said our goodbyes and shed many tears as God ushered Gary into His eternal presence.
It was strange after Gary was gone how quickly our bedroom was transformed back to it’s original purpose. The hectic daily routine of nurses visits, aids giving showers, medications being administered, tube feedings prepared, and visitors ceased and it was as if my life stopped along with it. Now our home is quiet and feels so very empty. No more hectic daily “care routines” or the sounds of the struggle for life. Only stillness and loneliness fill the void. Life will never be the same again in that sacred room. Neither will the battle for life there be forgotten. Yet in that room I still meet with God and cry and rejoice over life and it’s challenges. God has given us a promise of hope. He tells us we will be together again for all eternity. So you see, our trials here on earth are but a vapor… Here one moment and gone the next. Our promise is for “eternal life” with our God and King. It’s like Gary said when he was given his diagnosis…”We are all terminal”.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace”
As Christmas approaches, let God in His eternal completeness bring you miraculous peace.
Jesus is enough.