I miss hymns and hymnals. I didn’t realize just how much until a few weeks ago when I saw one referred to in a sermon. The words of a familiar hymn popped up on the screen… Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. My breathe caught…while the words were not being sung, (he was just using the line to emphasize a thought), I could clearly hear the melody in my head. My heart was overwhelmed with vivid memories of singing this in church, hymnal in outstretched hands so we could share, our often off-key voices combining to fill the sanctuary with sincere and thoughtful worship. Long after the service that day, this hymn played over and over in my head. I still find myself humming it under my breath and replaying it in my mind as I go to sleep when I am restless.
As I sit to write about peace, this song still rolls around in my heart. Peace, God’s peace, can be found in trusting Him. Keeping our eyes on Him. Truly, when I keep God as the lens through which I see my world, it changes everything. Many days, as I sip my coffee while watching the morning news or scrolling online, world events, national statistics, local issues and private struggles all blend together in an overwhelming barrage. Sadly, it does not take much for me to exchange my peace of mind for anxiety over things in and even out of my control. But then God shows up, in a simple line from a hymn, on a screen without music, and I am reminded how great a gift of peace He gave us through the birth of Christ Jesus.
The birth of Jesus would bring about the ultimate sacrifice for our sin, He is our redeemer. God’s peace is not the absence of war, lack of striving, or even quietly getting along…God’s peace is trusting in Him…it is the internal assurance of personal forgiveness and grace and the external confidence that He is in control and always working in our favor and to His glory.
Sometimes, even the prettiest of tinsel and lights of the season can be dimmed by stress, anxiety and pressure…Please join me in taking a few minutes to soak in the peace God offers us, this week my new favorite Christmas song is this one:
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”