Peaces of Advent: Place or Person?

Where do you feel safest?

Your house?
Your church?
Your workplace?
Somewhere else?

I’ve noticed the places I feel safest and most at peace are also the places that feel less stressful for me. Unfortunately, that means my own home isn’t necessarily the place I feel the most peace. I’m not the world’s most organized person. Junk mail lays around for weeks. Piles of papers “to be filed” are built and moved dozens of times before they even make it up the stairs, just feet away from where they actually need to be. Countless items wait for me to put them back in their “homes”. I usually have at least two baskets of clean laundry that need to be folded and put away (actually I think it’s three right now). The sink has a small mound of dishes that sit dirty. The point is, when I look around at the mess I’ve created in my house and I think about how much time and energy it’s going to take me to get it cleaned up and keep it clean, it just makes me tired. And stressed. And a little anxious. And less and less at peace.

My best friend’s house, though, is a totally different story. She’s much more organized than me. She keeps her house tidy and clean more regularly. And she manages to do it with a four year old and almost two year old tearing it up once it’s clean! There are no piles, rarely a dirty dish, no laundry sitting around… it’s like my dream house. I feel peaceful there.

My church, my parents’ house and my in-laws’ house are the other places I feel least stressed. And I think there’s a very specific reason. There’s a common denominator at each of these places – the people who are there.

All the places I feel safest, least stressed and most at peace all include the people who I love and who love me. There are times I do feel good being at home, and most of those times it’s when my husband is there with me.

So maybe the question isn’t where we feel safest, but with whom we feel safest.

When we feel safe, we feel calm. When our safety is threatened, so is our peace of mind. When we feel heightened stress, we tend to feel less tranquility. When we’re with people who we know love us and want to keep us safe, that changes everything. Those loving people God has given us can help ease our stress and refocus us on our ultimate source of peace – Jesus. When we surround ourselves with people who know Jesus and who have experienced the calm and peace he provides, they’re able to speak it into our lives as well. Jesus brings a safety and security to our souls like nothing and no one else. That true safety also brings true and lasting peace.

When God speaks peace into our stress He gives our souls true safety and peace, no matter where we are.

No matter where you are today physically, you are safe in the arms of your Savior. Psalm 23 isn’t typically tied to Christmas, but it speaks of this peace God promised and fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

Psalm 23 (ESV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
     He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.
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