Well, did you finish your Christmas shopping yesterday? Did you do your part to stimulate the economy? I have to admit that I probably did not (I say probably, because I wrote this before the week of Thanksgiving).
I simply do not like the thought of being in the mall along with everybody else from Bryan, Effingham, and Chatham Counties. I’d rather go at a time when things are a bit more clam and quiet. So I usually avoid the big day of shopping.
There is great pressure today to make certain that you get the right gift for everyone. Make sure that you don’t leave anyone out. And of course your gifts should be unique, a reflection of you and your relationship with the recipient. Add to the shopping the stress of decorating, traveling, and hosting parties, and the holiday season becomes a time of frustration for many.
It ought not to be that way!
In a prediction made some 800 years prior to the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah said that the coming Messiah would be called "The Prince of Peace." Isaiah also wrote, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you," (Isaiah 26:4). And Paul said in Philippians 4:7, "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
I don’t know about you, but I need that peace. Between the world situation, the housing market, sons in college and high school, and everything else, I can be pretty stressed. It’s like my grandmother and mother said. "I know worry is a sin. But I’m not worried. I’m just concerned." Yeah, right.
Worry, concern, stress; no matter what I call it, it is a reflection of one thing. A lack of faith. Am I willing to trust the One who helped the Hebrew children cross the Jordan River, helped David defeat Goliath, and then raised His own son from the dead? To worry and stress is to refuse to believe that He can or will meet my needs.
Am I saying it will be easy? Am I simply saying, "Don’t worry, be happy?" No. But I am reminded of this. We can cast all of our cares on the Lord for one reason. "He cares for you." Will you trust Him during this holiday season, and all year long?