30/30: Christmas. Stress. Homepage.

5 12 2007

christmas-final-small.jpgIn the month of December, we…

  • Decorate every square inch of our house (inside and out),
  • Attend a years worth of parties in 30 days (including that one we don’t want to attend, but feel obligated to go).
  • Purchase a gift for every family member (kids, parents, in laws and outlaws) including that one family member who never appreciates the gift we buy them.

These things alone bring us joy, but put them all together in a short period of time and it often equals “stress.” Stress is an internal response to external circumstances. It’s how I respond to events of life, especially when there’s gap between how we would like our life to be and how it actually is. “What is my typical response to stress? Where do I run for relief?” In Isaiah, God encourages us to turn to Him when we feel overwhelmed. God promises to help, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10

If that’s true, turning to Jesus should be our first response, not our last resort. In a sense Jesus should be like the homepage we’ve set up on our computer. It’s the first place we go when we begin each day and where we return throughout the day when life gets cluttered. He’s the one we turn to when things get overwhelming. But often we’ve set our homepage to places like…Complaining.com, Blame.org, MyBossIsAnIdiot.com, MySpouseIsAnIdiot.com, MyKidsAr eDrivingMeCrazy.org, MyParentsAreIdiots.com, RunAway.com, SomersetMall.com, Escape.com, BlowUp.org, RunAway.com, It’sNotFair.com, FeelSorryForMe.com, or FreakOut.com.

In the end all of these are destructive habits that don’t bring the relief that we are looking for. So this week, when you are stressed, where are you going to go? When you are overwhelmed, what are going to do? Set your homepage to Christ. Give it to God. May you live out the words of Paul this Christmas season…

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t miss the moment!

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