It hardly seems possible that Christmas is right around the corner. If you’re like me, this year flew by faster than the last – which is what I say every year.
Another thing I say every year is that I will not allow myself to get caught up in the craziness of Christmas and not have a proper Advent.
As Christians, the season of Advent is one of preparation. We are preparing for the birth of a Savior; the birth of a King. It’s not just the birth we find ourselves preparing for though, it’s His return – when, in all His glory, He’ll bring us home to Him in heaven. Every year I find myself rushing through Advent, in the hustle and bustle of our society’s version of the Christmas season, and every year I get so overwhelmed that my soul ends up feeling underwhelmed.
Each Christmas season brings a new set of life circumstances – family illness, no “plus one”, a dwindling bank account, births, deaths, not enough time – I’m sure you can fill in your own blanks. There are so many things this world throws at us this time of year that it becomes easier to focus on what isn’t instead of what is.
I love this verse; I love how complex yet simple it is. In one verse we see the innocence of a baby being born; a baby who will bear the weight of the world’s sin. A child who would grow into a man and be all of these wonderful names as He establishes a new order.
Have you ever stopped and thought about it that way? Imagine a small child, or any human for that matter, bearing such a heavy load. Unimaginable, isn’t it?
But it was and it is exactly as it the prophet Isaiah foretold; this is no ordinary child – this is the Messiah.
If you are looking for something to hold onto this holiday season, let me encourage you to write this verse down and remember the One who gives us reason for celebration.
When the holidays feel hectic, when you’re feeling let down or as though things aren’t going as you intended them – go to God. True counsel comes from God; from His Son who came to this earth in human form to offer us salvation.
In a sermon I read once, Pastor John Barnett said, “true wisdom from the wonderful counselor knows that: In weakness is strength; surrender is victory and death is life.” Vow to spend more time in prayer this holiday season; be quiet and still and allow God to reveal Himself to you when you need it most.
I’ve learned that I cannot bear the burdens of this life on my own, even though I try to (all the time!). When things don’t look exactly as we hoped they would, rather than turning to the ways of this world, let us remember the might and power our God has to offer us; only He can give the strength and peace we need to get through any and all circumstances.
Our God is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week – let’s not forget that the maker of the universe is mighty enough to handle the details of our lives this holiday season.
It matters not how many Christmases on this earth you will experience. If a child falls ill right before you leave for their Christmas program or you can’t find the perfect gift for a loved one; if you end up with more mouths to feed than you have food for Christmas dinner – remember those are just the details of THIS year’s holiday season. Don’t get caught up in the details. The Everlasting Father is timeless; spend your time thinking of how you can praise Him more instead of aiming to please everyone else.
Prince of Peace
Some days I feel as though I’m on a constant quest for peace: peace in my relationships, peace and quiet at home, peace in my heart. It’s only when I’m regularly in God’s word or in prayer that I begin to feel the calm that I long for. It’s easy to allow ourselves to believe that we would be at peace if only our marriage were stronger, we had gotten that promotion, our children were behaving better or the illness that has been lingering much longer than expected would just go away. Don’t be fooled into thinking that peace comes from anyone but Jesus.
As you prepare your heart this Advent season I pray that you would turn toward our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace to bring you the most joyous celebration you’ve ever experienced. May it help renew you now and overwhelm your soul for the celebration to come!