The rolling thunder and lightening carried on for some time as we lay awake in our beds waiting for it to pass.
The morning was filled with excited chatter about the previous night's storm. My youngest daughter looked puzzled, "What thunder?" She had slept peacefully throughout the storm.
Peace. As we enter into the festive Christmas season, we sing songs about Peace On Earth though it can feel as though we are surrounded by chaos. Finding peace in times of chaos can seem very difficult. Finding peace in times of hardship and grief can seem impossible.
At Christmas time, we celebrate Jesus coming into this world as a baby. Beautiful images of the manger scene bring joy and love for the baby, the son of God, who came to save the world. It was the sacrifice this baby would grow up to make for us that brought the power to give us peace, peace that passes all understanding.
'But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed,' Isaiah chapter 53 verse 5.
The disciples were grief stricken when Jesus died. They did not recognise him when he appeared to them on the road to Emmaus, and actually complained to him that they had hoped that Jesus 'was the one who was going to redeem Israel,' (Luke chapter 24 verse 21). Although they did not see it, he was standing in front of them fulfilling what the scriptures had prophesied.
Jesus opened their eyes and when he appeared among them again he said to them, "Peace be with you," (Luke chapter 24 verse 36). "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself!" (Luke chapter 24 verses 38-39).
The issue of peace
Sometimes it is easy to let problems take over our minds. Just like the disciples, we fret and are troubled over things we don't understand. Thanking God in everything reminds us that God is in control. Remembering that he is walking with us can replace our troubles with peace, and the peace in turn produces joy.
The peace that God gives us 'transcends all understanding' (Philippians chapter 4 verse 7). Even when we go through the hardest of times and even if our circumstances do not change, God's peace can still be found when we remember he is present.
'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you,' Isaiah chapter 54 verse10.
As the disciples met with Jesus for the last time before he ascended into heaven, Jesus lifted up his hands and blessed them. It was while he was blessing them that he left them and was taken up into heaven, (Luke chapter 24 verses 51-2). Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
I can't help thinking that the blessing Jesus gave them was one of peace. Psalm chapter 29 verse 11 says, 'The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.' He knew that there would be hard times of persecution ahead for his disciples but he left them with hearts full of joy and peace.
This Christmas, as we give gifts to our loved ones, keep in mind the gift that God gives to you and allow yourself to be the receiver of peace.
'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 chapter 14 verse 27.
May you have peace in your hearts and an awareness of His presence with you as you celebrate this time of Christmas.
Rebecca and her husband Tony, have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca loves writing children stories, interest articles and teaching piano. She is grateful for a God who loves us.
Rebecca Moore's previous articles may be viewed at