"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." —Philippians 4:5b-7
I'm told the moment you hold your child for the first time all your worries and cares float away (at least for a minute). There's a sense of relief and instant adoration—a blissful moment of peace where the only thing you can focus on is this kid and the miracle of life. I wonder if that's how Mary felt—if everything (the pain of childbirth, the gravity of this child as the savior of the world, the uncertainty of the future) melted away when she held Jesus in her arms. I picture her rocking Him back and forth, soaking in His presence.
I am struck this Christmas season by our ability to consistently feel how Mary might have felt that moment after Jesus' birth. Every day we are invited to recognize the Holy Spirit's presence and peace, but so often I don't. Philippians 4:5 says, "The Lord is at hand." THEREFORE Philippians 4:6 goes on, "Do not be anxious about anything..." Because the Lord is near, we are offered peace.
As a new year approaches, full of uncertainty, my resolution is to take advantage of the peace the Lord has provided by pausing to recognize that He is near. That pause will remind me to bring every situation first to the Lord with honest anguish and thanksgiving. This practice is a letting go of control, a reminder of the God who is greater than anything I am facing and have yet to face and a reminder that in His greatness He chose to humble Himself. To come to earth, to be near, so that His holiness might be displayed all the more and His peace may be felt by all.
PS- The photo above is of my precious new nephew. Isn't he a gem?!