Ok, everybody take a deep breath and relax. Now one more. Inhale, hold it, hold it, now exhale. It’s about to get really crazy around here. Thanksgiving is over (we survived another one) and the decorating is in process. The Christmas party schedule is kicking into gear and shopping… Oh no, shopping! And then the travel arrangements… How are we going to be everywhere we need to be all at once?
Isn’t it amazing how something designed to give us time off, enjoy our families and friends, reflect on all we have to be thankful for and celebrate our faith produces busier schedules, tension in our homes and extended families, ingratitude over what we don’t have and less attention to the precious faith we share?
Maybe the best thing we can do after we take that deep breath is remember the invitation we are given by our Father to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) In verse one, the Psalmist reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength.” So how do we take advantage of that promise?
First, and this is foundational to all that follows, we must make the time to acknowledge God and draw strength from him through regular worship, both public and private.
Next, there must be a deliberate plan on our part not to give in to the lust of consumerism/commercialism. Hebrews 13:5 is clear: “Be content with what you have.”
Then, we must remember we are called to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2) – even Uncle George!
Finally, we have to keep our eyes fixed “on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) Did you know that more people suffer from depression during the holidays than any other time of the year? You know why? Unrealistic expectations. We are looking for human relationships, past or present, or some event to satisfy that empty place in our hearts only Jesus can fill.
So, take one more deep breath and, while you’re doing it, ask Jesus to be Lord of your holiday.