Life can be stressful at this time of the year. A lot of this stress can come from our families. This past week, families gathered for Thanksgiving, and over the coming weeks, families will be getting together to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. With these celebrations and related preparation, come pressure…be it pressure to deliver the perfect holiday meal, or pressure to get along with difficult relatives.
This year, I encourage you to celebrate differently. Start by being present in the moment, worshiping, loving and praising our Lord for His sacrifice and His unfailing love. And, all the while, share His joy. Because God doesn’t just call us to “manage” stressful situations, but also to shine His light through them. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father
which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Here are some ways to shine God’s light (not your light) during holiday stress:
- Recite Scripture. Even in our busiest moments, we can control our thoughts—so why not recite and fill your mind with Word: 1 Peter 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ….”.
- Pray. Let’s breathe this year. Just the simple act of finding a quiet place to inhale and exhale. Then spend a few moments in prayer with Jesus. This can refocus our thoughts and get us back on track.
- Bible Journaling. Bible journaling is a faith-focused activity that can bring adults and kids to the table to focus on God’s Word.
- Share the Love “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35.) It’s time to show (not say) love, grace and mercy to our families. Let them know they are loved and open your heart to forgive and forget.
All in all, let’s prepare our hearts this holiday season to remain focused on the celebration of our Lord. Let’s ask God to help us shine His light through all the stress that comes with holiday celebrations and to glorify Him in all our ways in the coming weeks and throughout our lives.
Pastor R. Mario Howell