Merry Christmas friends! Only a few more days until we celebrate Christmas. I’m committed to making this a peaceful time not only for myself but those closest to me and whomever I come in contact with.
I know what your thinking.. Horace,you don’t have a family with kids and everything that entails. I understand but let me share this. I absolutely LOVE Christmas time! The Christmas carols, songs, time with family, and the lights too. I enjoy seeing all the lights! As I get older, I truly love giving more than receiving. I get such enjoyment trying to come up with ways to surprise and help others any way I can.
However 2 years ago at Christmas I went way overboard! I tried to get something for every one of my nieces and nephews. With multiple gifts from their parents, grandparents, and myself too; I felt it was too much and did not like how I felt that Christmas morning.
The anxiety and pressure I put on myself to locate a certain gifts and get everything in time for Christmas was exhausting! Especially when they are as intrigued by the colorful wrapping paper as the gifts inside!
I spoke with my mother about this and said that we may need to coordinate our gift giving going forward. I felt I was much better last year but it is still a struggle for me. As with any struggle we have as Christians, we need to seek God first and ask Him for guidance and peace of mind. I love this verse from one of my favorite passages in the Bible.
” He leads me beside the still waters, He refreshes my soul..”
I want to feel refreshed and at peace during the holidays especially at Christmas time. I prayed and asked God to help me this year. He knows my heart; please show me how I can have peace and not feel pressure to buy something or put pressure on myself to make everyone happy.
I began praying asking God for wisdom and reminded me of one gift I can give to others and that was TIME!
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ve called old friends just to say hello and see how they are doing. It was amazing the feeling the joy of spending 30 or more minutes conversing on the phone. I tracked down a dear friend on Facebook and we were able to catch up, exchange addresses, and confirm phone numbers. It was such a blessing to reconnect.
I was even able to secure tickets for me and my best friend Chris to attend the Gift of Christmas extravaganza at Prestonwood Baptist Church. Look at our excitement before the show!
The show was amazing and the singing/worship gave me goose bumps! The joy and peace I felt seeing how much Chris enjoyed the show was rewarding. Hearing the choir and orchestra praising God was both humbling and exhilarating. My spirit was definitely refreshed!
Another way that God helped me have peace was to spend more time worshiping Him and asking Him to show me how I can help and encourage those that are in need. Wisdom to discern because he knows I want to help everyone but now I want HIM to be glorified.
Yes, it definitely feels good when someone appreciates your gift but the feeling is beyond all measure when you give of yourself because of God’s leading!
I know there is a lot going on during this time of year and especially because everything has become so commercialized. There’s “black Friday” followed by “cyber Monday” . People camping out at stores for days. Trampling over each other trying to get that big screen TV or that one in a million video game.
There’s planning for family travel or visitors, and deciding on a menu…I get that. I speak from experience. I lived through those pressure packed weeks of planning and preparing for the Christmas experience.
Is that what Christmas is all about? Does God want us to drive ourselves to exhaustion and anxiety feeling the pressure to please? I think not…this is what we need to focus on and remember on Christmas and every day!
God did not send his Son as a sacrifice for us to run around half crazed, anxious, and worrying about every little thing. Look at what Jesus says here in the book of John.
“..I came that you may have life and that you may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
As believers, this is what God wants for us, an abundant, satisfying life. Not a life filled with pressure and anxiety. When we remember who He is and what He has done for us, our hearts should fill up with joy and peace as we worship Him.
I still have a little time before Christmas but I am committed to not stressing over what presents I have not gotten yet or worrying about messing up the dish I’ve committed to bring for Christmas dinner.
I know in my heart that Jesus loves me and my family will still love me even if something goes not as planned. I want to enjoy this time of fellowship with family and friends as we honor our Savior and what He has given us. The perfect gift, the ultimate sacrifice, His son Jesus!
So as you run around fretting over every little detail this holiday season, it is my prayer that you will take a moment and really remember the true meaning of Christmas and what it means for you as a child of His.
Ask God to show you how you can be a peace and share that peace with others. Have a wonderful time this Christmas and and a safe New Year’s Eve. I will talk with you in 2016 if the Lord wills. Blessings to you and yours!
Horace Williams Jr is the oldest son of a pastor who went to be with Jesus in 2020. He is an award-winning author and amateur chef who loves Jesus Christ. His passion for Christ inspires readers to draw nearer to the God who loves them.