Is anyone in need of an extra helping of peace during this advent season? If you are anything like me, your list is long and likely filled with lots of events and tasks that mostly bring you great joy. You might be cutting down Christmas trees and decorating the inside and the outside of the house. You're sure to throw in a little shopping, baking, attending a few parties, and making lots of lists to reassure yourself that you haven't forgotten anything or anyone! But those lists may also be causing you stress, exhaustion, crankiness, impatience...(can you say crazy drivers!)...need I go on? Lately, I find myself reciting the fruits of the Spirit on a frequent basis (Galatians 5:23). My prayer goes something like this,
"God, PLEASE help me to love more, have more joy and peace, be in less of a hurry (I don't really pray for patience); be more kind and filled with goodness and faithfulness."
It's as if I'm begging God to help me exhibit the fruits of the Spirit even when I'm not "feeling it." I wake in the middle of the night and review how little I checked off the list for that day, how little energy I have to accomplish even the simplest task at times, and I know when vacuuming and laundry feel like burdens too great to bear, I'm in trouble!
Clearly this struggle is an indication of neglecting to plug in to the Source of my strength. Psalm 29:11 tells us,
"The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace."
So if I am struggling, and if you're struggling, with having enough energy to accomplish what needs to get done, it's very likely we have wandered from our power source. Truth be told, we all have hearts so easily distracted and we need constant reminders of who God is and who we are. The classic hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," contains the following admission and request:
"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love;
Seal it for thy courts above." Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Isn't it incredible to think that back in 1757, when this hymn was written by Robert Robertson, the distractions of life got in the way of devotion to God! We shouldn't find ourselves surprised by that, considering the many times that we read about God's people in the Bible who were fully devoted followers one minute and idol worshippers the next. Doesn't that describe us too? We worship the things of the world put in place to truly anticipate the birth of a tiny baby who would be the Messiah, the Savior, the Prince of Peace, no less!
So, if you are searching for more peace, I encourage you (and me) to really let the words of Isaiah 35:8-10 soak into your heart, mind, and soul. We can choose to set ourselves on:
"...the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way...only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads."
This is where we will find the peace we are craving, by returning to God to plug in to the Source of our strength. God is compassionate, merciful, and patient, and He rescues us from our wandering ways. This Advent, I hope you'll reconnect with your Source of strength to experience His everlasting joy and peace.
Grace and peace to you in this Holy Season!
PTLB Coach, Children's Ministry Consultant
I would also love to know how God is working in and through your life, so please so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, a great life is great relationships. Your greatest life is just ahead.
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