By Madelyn Littles
Can you believe that the Christmas season is upon us again? I certainly can’t. 2016 has gone by in an absolute blur. I’m absolutely thrilled to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but sometimes the joy of the season can get cancelled out by the craziness that inevitably manifests during this time of year. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by holiday preparations that pile up in addition to all of the daily responsibilities calling my name. Sometimes I feel like everything is moving in fast-forward and I’m stuck on pause.
I’ve been feeling run down lately, a little overwrought, and definitely striving for balance. But the one thing that I’ve been trying to be very intentional about is looking to God, first and foremost, and seeking him through, around, and above the chaos. In the hardest moments, the moments where I can feel myself hanging by my last thread, I’ve started saying a simple, “Thank you, God.” But don’t be mistaken – the feeling behind those three simple words goes much deeper.
I thank Him for that specific moment. I thank Him for the current challenge, and for the growth in my faith that will surely result from it. I thank Him for the reminder to turn my face to Him – and ultimately for the knowledge that He holds this moment, no matter how imperfect, ugly, or challenging it may be.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I’m finding that these moments are the most incredibly blessed moments. When I’m at my ugliest, my most fickle, my most stressed – its in these moments, if I just remember to turn my focus to Him, I’m better able recognize the blessings that aren’t so obvious, the moments He has ordained for me to recognize that He is good, no matter what my circumstances might be.
How incredible is it to know that we have a Sovereign Lord who not only knows us and loves through our craziness, but that He knew these moments would happen to us before we were even born – and he loves us anyway!
My goal during this season is to spend more time intentionally reading and meditating on His word, and steeping myself in His truth. There will always be crazy seasons in our lives, but if we can just thank him for those challenging moments, for the opportunity to focus on Him and His incredible love and mercy for us, then our entire perspective will shift and the craziness might seem less crazy after all.
Will you join me this week in focusing on God – especially in the most difficult moments – to recognize when He is blessing you?