With Christmas rapidly approaching our spiritual walk can get a bit stale. Maybe it’s not that you stopped praying or reading your Bible – life just has you distracted. I liken it to the child examining all of the gifts under the tree, counting how many have his or her name on them and noting the size of each box. The focus of the child begins to shift from the tree and its meaning to what is in the boxes.
Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end. Children view the gifts with wonder and delight, while our distractions may bring us heartache and worry. There are the large concerns like family and close friends undergoing various trials. Add to that the everyday matters like ongoing health concerns and the accompanying medical bills. Circulating among these thoughts are the things that need to get accomplished on a daily basis. All of these together can pile up, steal our joy and divert our attention away from the true meaning of Christmas.
This unengaged feeling is not unusual. Our world has become so fast paced that even when we have a set time to be still matters intrude on our quiet time. The thing is, we are always going to have difficulties in our life, but we need to manage them or they will consume us. Maybe right now your hardships seem a bit overwhelming. Please remember that if we are walking in obedience, God has us right where we are supposed to be. He uses all of our circumstances to shape us to be more like Him.
The only way to find peace when life feels out of control is to surrender those major issues to God. It’s an act of faith that becomes easier as you build a closer relationship with Christ. Once we deal with the major concerns appropriately the other distractions become more manageable. Here are some steps to help you get refocused:
- Read the Bible. A wise pastor once said that even if you have trouble understanding scripture, keep reading. It will eventually come together. There are plenty of versions out there. The New Living Translation (NLT) is quite easy to comprehend. Others like the Amplified Bible and The Message also help to clarify the more literal translations.
- Spend some time in prayer. Find a quiet place to get away from any interruptions, whether that is a prayer closet or even a master bathroom. Begin with thanksgiving for all the Lord has blessed you with. Ask God to examine your heart and bring to mind any sins that need confessing and repent. Then ask God for what you need, but do so with a yielding spirit, knowing that God’s will is always best for your life.
- Finally, take some time to reflect on all that you have as a result of our Savior’s birth, death, and resurrection. Make a list and keep it somewhere in sight so you can to add to it. Continue to reflect on it during this busy season. Start with the grace and salvation that are offered to you as a child of God. If you have not yet confessed your sins and surrendered your life to Him see here.
Merry Christmas and God bless!
I am having trouble finding peace among the presents by the tree.
Life is busy. The kids are sick. There are issues with the family.
Cookies need baked and musicals attended.
Appearances to the in-law’s home are highly recommended.
What is Christmas all about? I can’t see it through the haze.
I search for Peace each morning as I quietly stare at the page.
Yet thoughts keep churning in my head, stealing the gift that I most need.
My quiet time with Jesus doesn’t feel like it will succeed.
Today a soft voice whispered, “I know all of your concerns.”
It takes complete surrender to find what you most yearn.
So in faith I hand over the things I cannot carry.
The worry and the fears and the things that I should bury.
For the Prince of Peace has come and brought this gift to you and me.
Tomorrow I shall have my Peace as I read beside the tree.