By John Ashley
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” or so the song says. Truly Christmas can be wonderful. The decorations, the music, even the hustle and bustle can be enjoyable. It is a time of celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world. “Joy to the world the Lord is come.”
Yet, this time of year can also be the most stressful. We many times allow ourselves to get caught up in the pressure of trying to make everything perfect. We want to buy the exact gift that will please the person receiving it, we want the meals to be delicious and something that everyone will enjoy, we even want the entire family to get along. We work and stress trying to accomplish the impossible. The results can be a Christmas filled with stress and disappointment.
We need to remember the “Reason for the Season.” We are celebrating the birth of the “Prince of Peace” not the “Sultan of Stress.” The verse quoted above, from the Word of God, is not a normal Christmas reference, but it reminds us not to allow our lives to be filled with care and to let God’s peace fill our hearts. We should not fall victim to unrealistic expectations, whether they are of our own making or put on us by others. We tend to overbook our time, overthink our plans and overindulge during our meals (Well the last one isn’t too bad.) All of which are in our control. This Christmas allow the “peace of God” keep our hearts and minds.
One other thought about this time of year, is, that it can be a sad time for many. There will be an empty seat at the dinner table, a phone call that wont be made, a loved one that will be deeply missed this year. With the passing of our son last year in October; last Christmas was very difficult for my wife and me. There were things we didn’t do, decorations that weren’t displayed because it was too painful to do. People have told us that the second holidays are harder to deal with than the first, because you aren’t in shock and thinking more clearly. I’m not so sure about all that personally, it seemed to hurt last year just as much as this year. My point being, remember that this can be a difficult time of year for many. Make a call, send a card, send a text to those that may be hurting this Christmas. If Christmas is particularly hard for you this year, do what you think is best for you as you grieve. Be as involved as you feel you want to be, but be involved at some level. Don’t completely isolate yourself from everything and everyone. Allow those that want to help have an opportunity to be a friend.
Christmas truly is a wonderful time of year. We just need to keep a proper perspective on it all and remember others this Holiday Season. Let’s all have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.