December 11, 2020
“Enough already.” Have you thought or said those words lately? Most of us have drawn dangerously close to that overwhelmed state because we’re saturated by the ugliness that paints the country and the world.
Anyone out there ready for a break from all this? Let’s change that mood and find a lighter topic. Here’s my friend’s lighthearted recount to give you a little humor in the midst of the gloom. She stepped into her mother-in-law’s house with a heart filled with the Christmas spirit and with an attitude of kindness. But here’s what she experienced. This is her unedited recount:
This humongous undertaking was under the guise of “helping” (really, read: doing it ALL myself). Put up ALL of her Christmas decorations: 2 full-size trees; a gazillion Santa’s she’s collected over the past 30-plus years of all shapes of sizes; 19 ceramic Christmas teapots (I counted); a dozen Beyer’s carolers, about 500 feet of lighted-green-fake-garland oh-so carefully placed around just about every piece of tall furniture, upper kitchen cabinets, fireplace mantle, even her grandfather clock. (I kid you not!) I could just feel the kilowatt numbers on the electric meter start spinning around like there’s no tomorrow!
Oh, I’m not even finished yet…THEN there was the placement of about 50 battery-operated assorted pillar, votive, and tea-lights on every table, the mantle again (it’s totally jammed between pillars, wise men and carolers), and inside the fireplace—don’t want to actually make a real fire these days, do we now?
I even had to place giant ball ornaments and stuffed-cardinals in ornamental trees (not even Christmas trees) around the house. Oh, yeah, I forget about placing her cutesy Christmas rugs all over the house, too! And my piece de resistance was converting a red, green, and white tablecloth into a shower curtain, using safety pins, so it matched her bathroom accessories.
Here’s a challenge for us. How about if we decorate with the same passion and detail, not our home, but our heart?
Six Promises for You
To avoid reaching the overwhelmed state of our mind, we first check out the divine storehouse of God’s Word. And one by one we pull out His promises. Here are six that deserve an important place:
- When broken relationships, strife or animosity bury our peace under the mountain of stress. Wrapped in love, Jesus gives us the perfect present: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to your peace]as the world gives” (John 14:27). The peace that comes when things work out is fleeting. The peace we get from others is false. But Jesus’ peace when turmoil abounds is true, profound and permanent.
- When fear drains our strength, God says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). If He will uphold us, nothing can make us fall. If He is God, the Lord of all, what may happen doesn’t alter His promise. If He is indeed the Most High God, what changes come about will find us secure and confident in His protection.
- When media reports rob our sleep as we toss and turn at night, each new day rings in fresh hope and with holy boldness. We declare, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). We wait expecting His plans to be at work. We expect His truth to reign. And His Word never to return empty.
- When tension fills the air because of the uncertainty for tomorrow, we remember God is already present in all our tomorrows. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. For this moment, for today and for tomorrow, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Walking on that straight path, firm and secure keeps us from the detours of negative emotions.
- When income has dwindled, bills pile up and we join the “financially anxious” club, God’s voice is stern: “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:27-31). Anxiety rises only and only when we forget that God knows. He knows what we need, what we lack, what we miss and what we desire. Our “wants” may come last, but our needs are what He meets first. The secret to get them? Seek Him first above all.
- If what we face seems impossible. If what we tried got us nowhere. And even what others did for us brought no results, God’s reminder echoes in Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” That promise brings the glow of hope into our Christmas. The best present to give to yourself is to believe, truly believe that If all things are possible with God,” your situation is too.
But we know none of the promises can be ours. None can be at work. None can make any sense without the power of God expressed by His unending love. He put that love in a crib and named Him Jesus.
Because of Jesus, we’re not overwhelmed. We embrace His Word, believe His power and decorate our life with the color of His promises.
Father, this Christmas is different than others. Gloom seems to rule. But we know that Jesus was born, to grow up, to become the light, to bring salvation and to conquer all. We sing the Christmas carol of gratitude with new hope and new confidence. In Jesus’ name.
What decorates your life these days?
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