I would love to say that today’s blog is a warm and fuzzy one all about the little things that “make the season bright”. Instead, it’s a confession. It’s a confession on this week before Christmas about how I have let the little things crowd out the important ones. Anyone else with me? You know who you are. As a matter of fact, you’re not even sure you have time to read this whole thing, because you have a million things swimming around in that head of yours with just a few days before Christmas. Stay with me. Like God did with me, I think the Lord wants to minister to your heart today.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that still has a few things on their to do list before Christmas arrives. I have lists all over the house. There’s my gift buying list where I’ve tried to mark things off before hiding them away from the kids. There’s my Kroger’s Click it list that I keep adding to before tomorrow’s pick up. I’m trying to avoid having to go INTO the store to pick up last minute things I forgot before I circle around to pick up my Click it order. ( You know you’ve done it too) There’s my guest list for Christmas Eve dinner which is up to 30 people not counting our son’s gigantic puppy and our newest great nephew. There’s my cleaning list for the kids and adults that Merrill has offered to oversee. There’s the birthday party list as we try to squeeze a birthday celebration in with a bunch of teenage boys this weekend for our son with the Christmas Day birthday. There’s my packing list for Merrill and I as we take off right after Christmas to see our oldest son and his family. There’s my packing list for our three youngest who will be staying with their old foster parents while we are gone. Not to mention, my to do list for our ministry, Rock Solid Families.
I say all that to set the stage of where my mind was a few days ago as I ran into an old friend. I had just got out of my car where I had been silently running through every one of those lists above in my head. Ever been there? I usually like driving with the radio off, so that I can pray while I drive, but not the other day. Instead, my mind was swimming when my friend saw me and asked, “What’s up? Anything?” Before I could catch them, the words that came out of my mouth along with a heavy sigh were “I can’t wait for Christmas to be over”. The weight of those words immediately broke my heart. In that moment, I had allowed all those little things swimming around my head to steal my joy.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all taken our eye off the prize before. That’s what makes us human and not God. The point of this article is two fold. One is to say...you are not alone. Satan is working on us all to distract, discourage, and destroy the good things God is doing in us and around us. The Bible warns, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8. After those words flew out of my mouth the other day, I had two choices. Beat myself up or get my eyes back in focus. Jesus talks about this very thing when he warns us not to worry. So don’t worry about these things, saying, What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:31-33
The second purpose of this article is to encourage you to keep your eyes wide open to how the Lord is working and moving in your life. It’s easy to miss it if you allow yourself to get to distracted or discouraged like I was. Like Jesus said, seek Him first. I walked away from my friend earlier this week so mad at myself for letting all those little things crowd out the important one- Jesus. As I walked into the store, I noticed the song playing over the speaker. It was a country singer singing Away in a Manger. How ironic that I would even notice the music playing in the background let alone a religious Christmas song. I had to chuckle and smile. It was as if the Lord was gently guiding my eyes back to the reason for the season. The next morning, I opened my Jesus Calling devotion and found these words waiting for me, “Do not be weighed down by the clutter in your life; lots of little chores to do sometime, in no particular order. If you focus too much on these petty tasks, trying to get them all out of the way, you will discover that they are endless...Seek My face continually throughout the day. Let my Presence bring order to your thoughts infusing Peace into your entire being.” In God’s perfect timing and gentle way, He was reminding me that when I put Him first, he’ll help me take care of all those other little things. He was ministering to me in that moment and reminding me He’s got this.
If you’re reading this and you’re still feeling overwhelmed, please know we are praying for you. Our prayer is that you experience the peace and joy only a risen Savior can give you. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!