It’s the day after Christmas, and all through our house, not a creature is stirring. All is quiet—no Christmas music, no happy conversation, no feet running up and down the stairs. But the quiet is not a bad thing, since our family spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in some form of noisemaking. On Christmas Eve, our church held a candlelight service, and with the exception of my husband (whose talents lie elsewhere), our family all sang or played an instrument as part of the celebration. It was my youngest son’s first time to perform in front of others, and he played “Silent Night” on the ukulele. He’s come a long way from the little one who shied away from most people.
We spent Christmas Day at my in-law’s house, and there we ate brunch, opened gifts, played games, and ate some more. We shared lots of bantering and laughter, and the living room was filled with the happy kind of noise that close families have at gatherings, when everyone there is comfortable with each other and spirits are high.
But today is different. Today is the day after Christmas, and the peace on earth that I longed for at times during the past weeks has at last descended upon our house. Even my kids are not disappointed that the holiday season is drawing to a close. They have enjoyed every minute of it, but there is something to be said for time to one’s self and a return to regular schedules.
For me, that includes a longer quiet time. My inner man has been weakened a bit by all the busyness, and in seeking to strengthen my spirit and draw closer to the Lord, the Holy Spirit brought to mind this familiar passage in I Peter:
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.—I Peter 3:3-4
In light of the season, I considered the word ornament in a new way. I am a Christmas ornament collector, never satisfied with what I have and always searching for those that are even more striking or unique than what I already have. Each ornament on my tree is beautiful in its own right, whether simple glass spheres showing the patina of age or snowflakes sparkling with glass glitter. Each one transforms my simple, rather worn artificial tree into a spectacular display.
And that’s how God sees a meek and quiet spirit: as a priceless ornament or adornment that can make a woman lovely and godly as nothing else can.
It may seem at first that a meek and quiet spirit is defined as “having the character of a doormat.” That’s what I used to think, anyway, that meekness and quietness were all about buttoning my lip when I was angry with my husband, for example. But no. The Lord doesn’t ask us to act meek and quiet. He asks that we are meek and quiet within. If I truly had such a spirit, the anger with my husband wouldn’t exist, because its source is a proud, demanding-to-be-heard spirit.
I can see why the Lord sees a meek and quiet spirit as an ornament of great price. Such a heart attitude is won through time and testing and prayer and experience. Its value is in its rarity. As for me, I have never been able to hold on to that spirit permanently, though I feel its presence more often than I once did, and always when I ask for the Holy Spirit’s intervention, to make me more like Christ.
I do love collecting Christmas ornaments, and I may never feel I have enough! But during the upcoming year, I plan to spend more time seeking the ornament that God finds valuable: a meek and quiet spirit.
Credit to my lovely daughter for this post’s featured image. You may read her blog here: teenmeetgod.wordpress.com