The holiday season can be a time period of chaos for many of us. Growing up as children, we often see the holiday season as exciting and captivating, but as we get older, some of that magic can disappear.
Loved ones pass away, bills come due, and never-ending preparations can cause us to feel depressed, stressed, and anxious. During this hectic and chaotic time, we need to turn to the Lord and rest in His presence.
The Holiday Season
The holiday season encompasses the period of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. It is a long stretch of time, which can easily cause us to feel overwhelmed.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed for the upcoming holiday season, know that it is okay, but you don’t have to remain in these feelings.
God wants you to rest in His peace, love, and serenity, not only during the holiday season but also every day of the year. The Lord doesn’t want us to be in a state of panic that causes us to take our eyes off Him.
Martha and Mary were two sisters who were friends of Jesus during His earthly life. Martha was the older sister, and she was worried about all of the preparations that had to be done. She was so busy with the preparations that her eyes, mind, and heart drifted away from Christ.
Instead, she was concentrated and fixated on all of the tasks that had to be done. Mary, on the other hand, knew what was more important and chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His teachings.
When Martha complains to Jesus about Mary not helping her, the Lord replies, “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:41-42).
We can follow the lesson learned through Martha and Mary and apply it to our own lives, especially during the holiday season.
Instead of becoming wrapped up and overwhelmed with all the preparations for the holidays, such as arranging family events, preparing food, and shopping for gifts, we need to come and sit before the Lord.
The world may tell us that preparations, events, food, and gifts are the most important part of the holiday, but it is not.
The most important part of the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day holidays is Jesus. Giving thanks to Him, celebrating His birth, and thanking Him for a New Year need to be centered around Christ.
Difficulties Surrounding the Holiday Season
Christmas tends to be the most stressful holiday for many of us for various reasons. Some of us may be stressed to see family members, some of us may be running into money difficulties, or some of us may be grieving the loss of a loved one.
It is important during the holiday season that we don’t put stress on our loved ones or ask questions that could promote anxiety or cause someone to struggle. Even though you may be family, it does not mean that you know everything about the individual.
Moreover, as we get older, move out, and drift apart, it is common to speak less and not tell one another about everything that is going on in our lives. Even if you all live in the same house does not mean that you know everything about all of your family members.
When you are getting together with family and friends this holiday season, reflect on Christ and extend His love in your actions. This could be a major catalyst for finding peace in Christ during the chaotic holiday season.
By reflecting Christ in your actions, you will be able to help your loved ones know that they are loved as they are and that you will not judge them. These small gestures and acts of kindness can help others feel more at ease and comfortable in their surroundings.
Avoid hurtful comments, such as “You look like you’ve gained weight,” “You look like you’ve lost weight,” “Do you still not have a boyfriend/girlfriend,” “When are you planning on having kids,” or “Have you found a new job?” All of these comments and questions are hurtful and can cause damage.
The best rule of thumb is to think before you ask a question or make a comment. Ask yourself if this comment or question could potentially hurt the other person or cause them to feel bad about themselves.
If you ask yourself these questions and you find that the answer is “yes, it will hurt somebody,” then it is best to abstain from making the comment or asking the question.
By avoiding making these comments or asking these questions, you will help to bring some peace into the chaotic holiday season. In addition to being careful about comments and questions, many of us can find the holiday season to be chaotic because of financial issues.
The time period surrounding Christmas is often known to be a time of mass holiday shopping. Instead of Christmas being known as a day to celebrate the birth of Christ, it has become known as the holiday where we buy gifts for one another and open them on Christmas morning.
Consumerism has taken our eyes off Christ and placed them on materialism. We have to actively remind ourselves that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birth, not presents, feasts, or Christmas activities.
When we remember this, it can help us not fret as much over the financial side of the holiday season. Even if we don’t have much money to purchase gifts, the holiday can still be great because we are celebrating the birth of Jesus with our loved ones.
Lastly, we can find Jesus in the chaos of the holiday season by helping those who have recently lost a loved one by being there for them. By just listening and being there for them can make a world of difference.
If a loved one is working through a recent loss, remain by their side. Refrain from trying to make them happier or glossing over their grief. Simply be there for them, and don’t judge them. Losing a loved one can bring great pain and distress into our hearts.
Whether you have lost a loved one or someone in your family has, extend love to yourself and to others. The holiday season can be a difficult season to walk through without someone very close to us.
Know through every season of life that God walks with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:8). Remind yourself that you are never truly alone because God is with you (Matthew 28:20).
Finding Jesus in the chaos of the holiday season might sound difficult, but it shouldn’t be. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, praying to Him, and reading the Bible all help build a strong connection to Him. God never leaves us, as He is always there.
Even if we don’t “feel” Him, God is there because He is greater than our feelings. Our feelings can change from one extreme to the other, and they are not always correct. We have to rely on our minds and what we know to be true from what the Bible tells us.
Why Does This Matter?
During this holiday season, turn to the Lord and focus on Him. The Bible tells us to give all of our worries and anxieties over to the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). He will help us with our worries and give us the peace that only He can provide.
Never doubt the love God has for you. Throughout the holiday season, focus on God and tell Him whatever is worrying you or causing you to struggle. Even though God doesn’t promise to take us out of these hard times, He does promise to walk with us through them (Psalm 23).
For further reading:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Artsyslik
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.