by Linda Cox

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Where, oh where, has this year gone?

It has flown by as if we were in the vortex of a tornado, spinning and whirling round and round, hammered by the debris of the storms of life.

“Real-life” tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.

Drought, wildfires, dying crops.

Foreclosures and loss of jobs.

Political bickering and wars.

Struggling marriages.

Illness. Death.

Turmoil everywhere, affecting all of us in one way or another and ultimately sending us in search of peace to help us face the challenges.

That search itself is a challenge, because we live in a culture that oftentimes looks for peace in perfection—

perfect job,

perfect salary,

perfect home,

perfect marriage,

perfect kids,

perfect body.

But let’s face it—that “ain’t gonna happen.” None of us—nothing in this world—will ever be perfect this side of heaven. But that’s O.K. Our imperfection cannot change God’s love for us, because Jesus was perfect for us. He lived the perfect life and was the perfect sacrifice on the cross for our sins.

Because of that, we can look to the love and forgiveness of Jesus, the Savior whose birth we just celebrated, to find the abiding PEACE that surpasses understanding.

The PEACE of being a forgiven child of God.

A PEACE given in the midst of the storms and chaos of life.

A PEACE that nothing in this world can take away no matter how quickly time flies.

So as we cross over into a new year, may the true PEACE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ encompass all we do and be a constant reminder that whatever 2013 holds, Jesus is already there. And that is PERFECT PEACE.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)



Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but she occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson),The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity), Love Is a Verb (a devotional from Bethany House), and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That. She lives on a farm with the “Bone Mafia,” her two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.