“Christmas Quiet” captures me.
“Christmas Chaos” threatens me at every turn.
Which will it be this year? Quiet or Chaos? Probably both. This month’s posts are dedicated to the pause and ponder we all long for deep within. These devotional thoughts are a book-in-the-making, a writing adventure with a very dear friend who makes me laugh hard, dream big and click the spell-check button Beth from Kansas—you have spoken life-giving words to me for years. I love you and thank God for you. May these musings we’ve written on overload, oasis and silence be a blessing to you and yours.
What wreaks havoc in the typical home? Anger. Anxiety. The TV remote? No, it’s time – actually the lack of time. There’s never enough, and overload is unraveling our homes, our hearts and our hunger for God.
When asked, “How are you?” our answer is no longer “Fine,” but “Busy.” It’s the badge of honor we wear as Christians. We’re loving the Lord, caring for our families, serving our corner of the world. But far from running the race with joy, we’re sputtering along on a dangerously depleted tank. Deep within we silently whisper, “Is this all there is?” Then December arrives with a “To Do” list a mile long, and we crumble under mounting expectations. Sweet images of Christmas quiet are crushed under the weight of Christmas chaos.
Mary and Joseph knew the burden of overload. I can hear Mary’s whispered panic, her face streaked with silent tears. “Census? Bethlehem? Now? Joseph, my time is near.” First century travel was grueling and dangerous in the best circumstances. Add to that swollen ankles, an aching back and mounting fear. “Who will be there to deliver this child?” Overwhelming situations take a toll. So does everyday life.
What effect is overload having on you? When was the last time you laughed out loud? Had a refreshing night’s sleep? Enjoyed a guilt-free afternoon of fun? Has your heart forgotten how to sing, overwhelmed by the weight of visible and invisible burdens?
Jesus knew pressure. Crowds were relentless, meals missed. In sheer exhaustion, He slept through driving wind and waves. Jesus knew overload, but He was also well acquainted with soul restoring rest. He slipped away to quiet places with His Father. Jesus was a man of rhythm, and He invites us to follow His lead.
Accept his invitation to slip away to a quiet away from the chaos. Pause with your Lord and Savior as you begin your journey toward the Bethlehem manger. This quiet will not dismiss the chaos, but it will redirect your heart into the presence of the One who quiets racing minds and stills quaking hearts.
May the peace and power of quiet, infused into the chaos of Christmas, make your journey to Bethlehem the best one yet.