If I had a nickel every time I warned the kids that their gifts they received on Christmas were affected by their behavior, I would have plenty of left over money to buy more gifts. With the Christmas holiday so close, children naturally get more excited about the toys and cookies and, in turn, lose focus on what we feel is important, doing their chores and finishing their homework. It's an ongoing tension coming to a head on Christmas Eve. Sometimes, I'm not really good at handling this. I tend to overreact. The peace that should come in the season doesn't necessarily show on my face.
I wonder how I would've done over 2000 years ago as Joseph. How would I have reacted if my girlfriend had become pregnant (not by me) and having the whole town question the both of us. Then, in our search for a place to give birth to the Messiah, there's no room at the Inn. We have to go into this smelly barn with the animals. I imagine my complaints would be heard. I imagine I would say plenty of things I would regret. I imagine my wife (pregnant and certainly uncomfortable in every way) would look at me in disbelief as if to say, "You're kidding right? I'M PREGNANT not you.!" The circumstances were not ideal. But are they ever?
The great thing about following Christ is (or, at least should be) that perfect peace is not dependent on our circumstances, it is dependent on trusting God.
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
The more we pursue Christ, the more peace we have. I'm not the same person I was many holidays ago and I'm so thankful. He has given me more peace in my life than ever before. In the times where I've lost loved ones, had financial burdens, or was unsure of my career, I had peace. I have Christ.
What if this was the first holiday you truly leaned into Christ? Sometimes the chaos in our lives stem from our push for independence. We convince ourselves that "we got this!" when all along He's ready to intervene and give you some much needed peace. Trust in Him and see. Your holiday will be different.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.