Looking back..

Isaiah 54:17

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgement you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.

We’re all looking for a way to deal.. we read the magazine headlines in the grocery checkout lane.. they say things like, lose 10 pounds in 10 days…turn your negatives into positives… 3 ways to turn your marriage around… do these 5 things daily to organize your life. I have read them all, even tried several of them. I have even found temporary success with a few but found that if I back off for the holidays or let that one comment settle into my heart, then I begin to fall back into old patterns.

Just last week, I struggled with the fast pace of Christmas. Our family had just gotten out for Christmas break, there was a mile long to-do list, and my budget was slim. I started to feel the anxiety start and instead of enjoying the preparation for my family coming home, I began to get agitated and dread slowly crept in. There were 3 days before Christmas.

The week before, as we were wrapping up home school assignments, I daydreamed about extra time to study and pray, wrapping gifts, making candy, icing cookies, watching Christmas movies, and snuggling with my kids and grand girls. But instead, I was moody, tired, and anxious.

I have learned to seek out the core of why I feel the way I feel.. after a strong cup of coffee and a few minutes of asking myself some hard questions, I realized the culprit. I was so focused on what I couldn’t control instead of what I could.

So I took this opportunity to get out my Bible, a pack of index cards, and a pen. I began to write down a few verses of Scripture to ease my anxious heart.

James 4:7~ “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I Peter 5:8-9~ “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”

I Corinthians 10:13~ “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

James taught me that I could submit to the holiday stress and not enjoy the next few days or I could submit my emotions to God, lean into Him for guidance and have joy. I said, “Lord, You know my thoughts, I need You to help me find a way to enjoy this time and keep You first.”

I Peter taught me that when the negative thoughts came, I had the power to pray and know that God hears and would give me strength.

I Corinthians taught me that there was no circumstance, like my finances being tight, that had the power to overtake my emotions. Yes, gifting my family and friends was different this year, many of my loved ones received candy, a card, or just a visit. We were able to focus more on Christ and less on the material things this year. Looking back, I enjoyed this Christmas more than I could have ever imagined. I walked hand in hand with Jesus, clinging to His Word to get me through a time that could have been stressful and miserable.

Christmas morning, I was bagging up all the wrapping paper and boxes, clearing up space for the kiddos to play with their gifts, and I thought, “This is HIS day and WE get all the gifts!!” Only Jesus can do that. He took this time, meant for His glory, to spoil us, His beloved, on His day.

What about you? How did Jesus get you through this Christmas?

Till next time!

~Shana
 

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