Many times I have prayed for God’s peace. To be honest, peace is something I do not think about until I realize it is gone. Peace is not simply the absence of conflict and fighting. No, true peace is found in the presence of something. True peace is found in the presence of Almighty God. I have prayed for God’s peace when my faith has been shaken to its core. I have prayed for God’s peace when the doubts and fears of life have overwhelmed me. I have prayed for God’s peace when I see what I thought was unbreakable and immovable crumbling around me. What I cry out for when I need God’s peace is a more tangible experience of His presence in my life. It is a statement of faith that surges from the depth of my being that cries, “You, and You alone, are what I need.” Many times I have prayed for God’s peace.
One of my favorite hymns is “It is Well with my Soul.” If you were to read the back story to this treasured hymn of the Church, you would discover that Horatio Spafford wrote the words to this song after learning of the death of his four daughters. He was to accompany his wife and girls on a vacation to Europe but was delayed and sent them on ahead of him. It was later he read the correspondence from his wife that said, “Saved alone.” All four daughters had perished in the sea when the ship collided with another vessel. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of such loss; and yet, in the midst of this great tragedy, his soul cried out and he penned the words, “It is well.”
How can it really be well? How can one accept the uncertainty of the future while knowing all too well that you are not in control? It is His presence. Presence is what Advent is all about – Immanuel, God with us. God made flesh – Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Advent calls us to experience afresh the peace of God in His presence. It is only in His presence that we can declare with unwavering resolve that, “It is well.”
In our reading today of Psalm 146, the Psalmist closes his praise by reminding us that “the Lord will reign forever.” In His reign, we have peace. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings. He is the Lord of Lords. He is the Prince of Peace. Will you make room this Advent season for the presence of God in your life? Will you say, “It is well”?