As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’ve been greatly blessed in the last few weeks in unexpected ways. One of those is that I caught first a cold and then the flu from my grandson while I was helping his mommy recover from having his new baby sister. But it was a blessing.
A blessing to feel like roadkill? But it was.
It prevented me from writing on my blog. I was getting frustrated by the political machinations in this country. I’m upset that the best and brightest and most (I believe) righteous and capable men are not in first place in the Republican race but have taken turns as second. (see how easily I slip into political angst?)
But I want to center my mind on Jesus. I had been feeling a dearth of Christmas spirit. There wasn’t any magic in planning and preparing gifts for my family. I used my visiting grandkids as an excuse for why I didn’t put up my tree or decorate my house like I usually do the day after Thanksgiving. Privately, I urged Jeff to let me send the kids each a check and sneak away on a cruise with me and skip Christmas all together. (I’m not kidding!)
After having a houseful of company over the Thanksgiving holiday and going right back to Tricia’s for the following week, chores had piled up at home. I spent dawn until dusk on Saturday morning catching up on chores and helping Jeff get started taking care of damage from the ice storm.
But Jeff put on the Christmas music and it started kneading my heart into a softer form.
FOR unto us a child is born! Unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his sho-oo- oo-oo-oulders! And his name shall be called Wonderful! Counselor! The Mighty God! The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!
The Prince of Peace!
Saturday night, I woke up nauseated and feverish.
There’s nothing so humbling as feeling horrible. Nothing stirs compassion for the chronically ill as being ill yourself. Jeff waited on me with great tenderness and solicitation and that is also humbling and draws out my heart with love to him.
Sunday morning, I asked Jeff to give me a blessing. Many’s the time I’ve felt special comfort and inspiration from him giving me blessings. Once the inspiration I received as a result of the words he used in a priesthood blessing of infant Daniel, allowed me to save Daniel’s life.
I realized that I deserved to be sick because I knew my grandson was sick but I ate the cheerios from his high chair tray any way. When I choose foolishly, I will receive the consequences, regardless of my faith.
So I suffered through it. and when I woke Monday feeling better and then even better yesterday, I felt SO GRATEFUL for my habitual good health! I was reminded how miserable illness is and that I want to be kind and helpful to the sick when I have opportunity.
So I want to tell you something I know.
Jesus is indeed the Prince of Peace. His peace is whole. Complete. It is the culmination of compassion, love, understanding, knowledge, power over evil and victory over sin.
Peace is wholeness. There is no fracture or disturbance, no anger or temper with the Prince of Peace. There are only people and situations that run opposite to his nature of ultimate and complete peace. He stands in counterpoint to evil and sin and hate.
In the Book of Mormon, when the Resurrected Lord visits the Nephites on the American continent, he tells that that “contention is of the devil and whoso has the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil.”
He meant for this to be used as a test. It’s a way for us to know if a person or media or an organization is of The Prince of Peace or of the devil. Do they stir up contention and hatred? Do they attempt to humiliate or embarrass or alienate? Or do they love, unite, cause to rejoice, encourage compassion, and draw us closer to our loving Heavenly Father?
If something or someone causes you to rejoice in Christ, you can know that it comes from God. When you feel that peace which surpasseth understanding, you know that it is of The Wonderful Counselor, The Prince of Peace.