As we are turning the corner on the holidays what is the state of your heart and mind? Are you anticipating this season with joy or do you find yourself a bit overwhelmed with anxious thoughts of everything on your to-do list? Troubled by recent news? Weighted by trying to keep things in balance all year long.
The holidays can lend itself to a mixed bag of emotions. Despite all the things we have to be grateful, the gathering of friends and families can leave us feeling worn and empty when we fail to set our focus on the proper things. There is something about seeing others that can stir up in ourselves that evil wind of comparison and thoughts of why am I not doing more. For the single girl, thoughts of why am I not married yet can rear its ugly head, although it’s been silent all these other times. Not to mention, the inquiring minds of relatives asking well-meaning questions that you would just assume avoid.
Whether our holidays are spent quietly or surrounded by people, we can enjoy the gift that Jesus left to us. John 14:17 says,
I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT
While the stores are advertising their Black Friday and Pre-Black Friday deals so that we can get all of our holiday shopping done, I wonder how much time do we truly focus on the gifts we already have in our possession. I appreciate a good sale as much as the next person, in fact, I’m hoping to get some deals myself but when I read that passage from John 14:27, I can’t help but think about the many times I have left the gift of peace unwrapped while I fretted.
Did my fretting negate the fact that Jesus gave you and I the gift of peace? NO! As with any gift, it is up to the recipient to decide if they will accept the gift and make full use of it.
My hope for you is that whether your family gathering goes off without a hitch as planned or you find yourself digging through the messy places of life during this holiday season that you are able to unwrap and hold to God’s gift of peace. I’m learning that this gift of peace does not mean that we always abide in circumstances that naturally evoke a tranquil state of peace of mind and heart. In fact, the winds of life might be blowing hard and rocking our sacred personal lifeboats. But we do not have to let winds around us snuff out the truth in our mind and heart to which we hold anchor.
May I pray for you, friend.
Lord, thank you for your gift of peace that is available to us even in the midst of troubling times. For you are far better to us than we ever deserve. We can spend all of our allotted days on earth and never fully unpack all that you have given to us through you gift of your son Jesus. But we want to do a better job of it. Help us to understand and to access all that you have made available to us through Jesus. Amen.