What are the components that make up a Big Mac?
If you grew up before or around my time, your mental needle probably just dropped on the dusty record of McDonald’s brilliant marketing campaign jingle: “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles” – you get the point…
Being no stranger to the Bic Mac myself, I have come to find that what makes that the burger of burgers for me is the special sauce. I’m not sure what it is (and if you know, please don’t tell – it will probably only discourage me), but that sauce places the Big Mac a notch above the rest of the burgers in my book.
A Monopoly on Peace
What are the components that make up peace?
Just like all the burger chains seeking to stand out, vying for their place at the top – so it is with the many beliefs and their promises of peace. The Buddhist calls it Nirvana and claims it is attained through the absence of all desire. The Atheist calls it indifference and claims it is attained through acceptance (at least, according to Dawkins).
But we are not talking about burgers, where opinion matters. We are talking about peace, and you either have it or you don’t – even if you are clinging to a false knock-off, claiming it’s the real deal.
Jesus is not the only One to promise peace, but He is the only One who can deliver on that promise. He says it this way in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” Yes, everyone (“the world”) is trying to replicate what Jesus alone can give, but (if I may be so bold) Jesus alone is the Big Mac of peace.
What’s different about the real thing? How does the peace that Jesus supplies stand out from the “peace” the world gives? One of my favorite passages concerning this peace is found in Philippians 4.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7
Much like the Big Mac, this passage has its special sauce (or as I like to call it, “secret sauce”). Were you able to identify it as you bit into the passage?
We are first commanded to not be anxious, but to instead bring our requests before God. To most of the world, those are as basic to peace as a bun and patty are to a burger. But where the world tries mixing in different secret ingredients like entitlement or numbing or escape, The Lord’s recipe calls for thanksgiving.
Yes – stop being worried. Yes – bring all your requests before the Lord. But rejoice and give thanks! And what is the result? PEACE that surpasses even comprehension!
Peace in All Seasons
“Give thanks in my circumstances?” you may be asking. You need the right environment to cook a good burger (a hot grill). Do you need the right environment to whip up a hearty helping of peace?
The command is quite terse – “be anxious for nothing, but in everything…” There is not much room for exception in that clause. Paul would go on in his letter to say that this peace/contentment even transcends circumstance (4:11-13)! The heat of our circumstances can be way down or off the charts, but both peace and thanksgiving are possible in either.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 reinforces this point: “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
So, have you been fighting for peace and found it to be as fruitless as biting into a burger straight out of the freezer? Why not try out Jesus’ recipe in Philippians 4! Put down your worry, turn to Him in rejoicing, talk about all the things that you have been anxious about, and start listing off all the things you are thankful for. The result will be peace that surpasses any circumstance or understanding.
McDonald’s marketing sure worked on me. I can remember that little ditty before I even remember my own name when I’m hungry. Perhaps you need to do the same with Philippians 4:4-7 by committing it to memory, but instead of combatting hunger you are combatting worry. You are fighting for peace.
Just don’t forget the secret sauce.