If we aren’t careful, the holiday season turns into an energy-draining, logistical nightmare. Life goes from busy to frenetic as seasonal obligations overlap schedules that are already bursting at the seams. The pace can be exhausting as we try to cram family, work, social, community, and all manner of commitments into a compressed schedule. Under the guise of celebration, we can take on multiple forms of stress.
In those moments where we find ourselves overwhelmed, irritated, or fatigued, we should remember that we have the option to enter into the tranquil mindset of the Lord’s rest whenever we choose. While every source of stress won’t instantaneously disappear, seeking God’s face allows us to recalibrate and view our life events with a fresh perspective. When what lies ahead seems daunting or discouraging, it is helpful to take a pause for the cause – just a moment to whisper a prayer regarding whatever concerns us. When we remind ourselves of who we are and the power that lies within us, we reinforce our belief that we never have to bear any burden alone. When taking a pause for the cause, it is helpful to:
- Acknowledge the ways God actively works in your life – think about ways that you experience God. In which situations do you feel His presence the most? Do you know Him to be a healer, provider, protector, refuge, and creator? Whether it’s the seeing the beauty of a sunrise, hearing the laughter of children, the reassurance of holding a pay stub, the smell of a delicious meal, or simply a feeling of peace, declaring God’s various roles provides a level of reassurance. Reflecting on everyday miracles is a way to encourage yourself and attest to God’s goodness. Psalm 145:9 says “The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.”
- Declare that you belong to God – you are God’s creation. Being part of His family entitles you to a host of eternal benefits. Remind yourself that you are never alone and your heavenly father delights in you. God is always watching and waiting for an opportunity to be glorified through your life. He never wastes a crisis. Even when situations seem discouraging, difficult, or dire – reminding yourself that you are part of a divine order can bring a sense of peace, courage, and confidence as you seek His will for your life. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
- Admit that you need help – prayer unleashes God’s power, bringing it from the heavenly to the physical realm. Let the Lord know what burdens your heart and what distracts or discourages you. Ask God to help you heal from life’s hurts so that they do not fester and harden your heart. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
- Give God room to work – it’s meaningless to acknowledge God, declare your identity, admit your need, then not allow God to move on your behalf. We often take our burdens to the Lord, then pick them up the moment our prayer ends. Releasing a burden is both a powerful and humbling exercise. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
In this joyous holiday season, continue to seek God and remind yourself to take a pause for the cause. Take a moment to breathe, relax, and meditate on The One who is as close as the breath you just took in. Psalm 46:10 says,“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”