Christmas…. This season can quickly stress you out and have you longing for the new year with all the gifts to buy, larger crowds to fight, more traffic, and parties to attend on top of just normal life stuff. You don’t have to be stressed this season, but you most likely will if you don’t take time to slow down and stay focused on Jesus.
The other day I came across Psalm 23, which is a Psalm I’ve read many times, and I almost glossed over the text until I sensed God prompt me to slow down. I’m glad I did because He gave me a great reminder as I reflected on this passage… My ability to sustain myself will not get me very far, but if I’ll find strength from Him, He will sustain me through the Holy Spirit. I must enter each season, even this Christmas season, at a pace that prevents burnout.
Here are three thoughts from the first three verses of Psalm 23 that will help us measure our willingness to be led at His pace…
1) He makes me lie down: Busyness without rest equals burnout and exhaustion. Don’t let the holidays get the best of you simply because you aren’t resting!… Are you resting? Are you embracing the moments God places in front of you that are designed to be restful and bring a sense of renewal to your soul and mind?
2) He leads me beside still waters: Holidays can bring stress from tension in relationships or feeling as if you have to make sure you get the “perfect” gift for the important people in your life. Spend time with Jesus and allow Him to remind you of who you are in Him. If He doesn’t shape your identity this holiday season, then someone or something else will do it for you… Are you allowing Him to calm you down? How is your anxiety and nerves? Is there a sense of peace and joy in your attitude?
3) He leads me in paths of righteousness for HIS name sake: The Christmas season is a great time of year to be a blessing to others and even share what God is doing in your life. Don’t miss those opportunities to be generous, share your story, and even invite others to experience what you are experiencing with Jesus!… Are you open to God working thru you? Are you staying focused on the people in your life and those He’s bringing into your life? What are you doing for His Kingdom for His glory?