Devotional | Kyra Byrns | Dec 10, 2023

Internal Stillness

Internal Stillness

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7


What’s your idea of peace? For me, ideally, peace would be external stillness. Realistically, peace is internal stillness. As much as I would like peace to mean that everything around me is going perfectly—not too fast that I feel rushed or exhausted, but also not too slow that I get bored and uninterested—I know this is not the case. 

Typically, when I think of the Christmas story, I am imagining peace as external stillness. I picture quiet streets in the evening after the sun has set, shepherds watching their resting sheep in a calm meadow, Mary and Joseph holding their precious baby with smiles on their faces. But this year, as I started to think about peace and Christmas, I realized that probably isn’t an accurate picture.

People from all over had flocked to Bethlehem for the census, so much so that Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a room anywhere. I am guessing the city was bustling with life, people reuniting and catching up with friends and family they hadn’t seen in a while. The sounds of conversation and laughter spilling into the streets.

And the shepherds? They were visited by a multitude of Heavenly Hosts who were praising God because Jesus was born and the prophecies had come to pass. The meadow was definitely not calm or quiet. It was filled with life, with praise and celebration.

I laugh at myself when I think a little bit harder about the birth of a child and realize there’s really no possibility of external stillness. Between a mother’s shouts during the pain of childbirth and a baby’s cries of shock as he leaves his home of the past nine months, that room was anything but still. 

How did I ever think the Christmas story was one of superficial and external stillness? Because my ideal peace is external, I pictured the story the way I desire peace. However, just because the world was busy and loud doesn't mean peace was absent. No, Peace was finally on earth in the flesh.

Isaiah 9:6 foretells Jesus’ birth and calls him the Prince of Peace. Jesus is a leader who brings peace. Unlike earthly rulers, he is not motivated by greed, revenge, or pride. He is motivated by justice and righteousness … by his great love for us. 

While we wait for heaven and God’s perfect rule, he has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit and the fruit that comes with it. Peace is a fruit the Spirit produces in us when we spend time in the Word of God, in community with other believers, and in service to others.

The Christmas season is often very busy, filled with decorating, buying gifts, parties, vacations to visit family and friends, preparing the house to host guests, and much more. It can be easy to forget we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, peace in the flesh. 

It’s hard to imagine being able to feel peace when the to-do lists seem never ending, but Philippians 4:7 tells us, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

When we make time to be in God’s presence, he blesses us with peace that doesn’t make sense on this side of heaven. And not only that, it also protects our hearts and minds, which is exactly what we need this time of year so we don’t lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. How can you make time to experience the peace of God this Christmas season? 

I encourage you to make time for God each day this Christmas season so you may experience his peace—the blessing of internal stillness—during the busiest time of year. I enjoy doing my Bible study in the living room where I can see the Christmas tree because I’m reminded that I love this season for the traditions, decorations, treats, and festivities … but I’m also reminded that there would be nothing to celebrate if Jesus hadn’t come to earth as a small, precious child. 


Thank you Lord for peace we cannot comprehend. Thank you for sending your Son to earth and for the yearly reminder and celebration. Thank you that we can look forward to living under the rule of the Prince of Peace and know that one day, peace will be both external and internal. Please let your peace wash over us this Christmas and protect our hearts and minds from the busyness of this season.

Kyra Byrns
Web Content Specialist


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