“Once in our world, a Stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” wrote C.S. Lewis. In that Stable, a Child lay in a feeding trough. It is His birth that we celebrate today. For Christians around the world, we manage to put down our theological clubs and grab hands and bow before Whom we call King, Lord and Savior.
The Man who gave us “blessed are the peacemakers”, “I have come that they might have life” and “I am the living water” also gave us “be ye not troubled.” Someone who has a greater perspective on things temporal as well as things eternal gently urges us to “be ye not troubled.”
Times are tough. Fiscal cliffs, budget cuts and politics at its worst dominate the newscasts. I am sure I am not the only one who is utterly frustrated with the ineptitude of our elected officials. My sister who lived frugally for many years would be better equipped to deal with the mess that is in the nation’s capital. I cannot even watch the news anymore without disgust. My words to Washington: Do your job. But in the angst of this frustration, I gently hear, “be ye not troubled.”
Times are tumultuous. I have a lot of kids. Just some low level sibling rivalry can stir up a hornet’s nest. Most of the time I can handle it, but there are days when I just hang my head. There are other family members who will never be happy, people who run to trouble and seem to revel in discord. Family stress can be very tiring. Yet, still the words beckon, “be ye not troubled.”
And, finally, times are very tragic. It has been a year of loss. Expected losses when death was seen coming, maybe even a relief; unexpected losses when death snatched a beloved before our eyes and unimaginable losses when death went on a rampage. There are no answers, no words, nothing to assuage the piercing and painful grief. “Be ye not troubled” seems so far away.
Jesus Christ did not promise us rose gardens, American dreams or healthy families. Of His many gifts He did promise, some are provision for the present, patience for the perplexing and a peace that surpasses understanding. That peace, His peace, enables us to “be ye not troubled” when times are tough, tumultuous and even tragic.
Have a blessed Christmas Day.