Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Stress, Tension...Peace, Relief by Marilyn Nutter

As Diana set her coffee mug on the table, she sighed, “I just can’t do it.”

“Do what?” I answered.

“I just can’t get everything done. I’m stretched to the max. Actually, at this point I’d like to take down the Christmas tree.” 

“It’s December 20!” I said incredulously.

“I know, but I still have lots of baking and shopping to do; then there is a school concert and an open house on the calendar. I’ve decided I won’t have time for our Christmas letter. Maybe I’ll write it after the New Year. Joey’s gift is on backorder. I feel like I am letting everyone down.”

Conversations like that are heard among friends and in households across the country. Perhaps you recently had one. Tensions rise, expectations are deflated and the holiday season becomes one of stress rather than joy.

What expectations have caused you stress? 
  • Not seeing some of the family during the holidays?
  • A limited budget for shopping? 
  • Unanswered prayers? 
  • A broken relationship that continues to be unreconciled?
  • Job interviews that lead nowhere? 
  • Hoping that tomorrow will be different? 
Jesus did not promise us smooth sailing but He did offer us peace for journey.

In fact, he bequeathed it to us. In John 14:27 He tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Yes, we have expectations and disappointments. We have stress and questions.

Jesus invites us to exchange those for His peace. Our situations may not change, but our outlook can. The Peace-Giver walks with us and His peace becomes ours. Can you pray today and ask for His peace? You can expect an answer because He has already given it.

Read about Marilyn and her devotional books on the Lead Writers' page.

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