With this week comes the busiest five weeks of the year. We have a beautiful celebration of thanks this week, and it becomes the opening score to a beautiful opus of celebrating the Author of Life coming to this world in human form. But as the weeks proceed we will experience a range of emotions.
For some it will be mostly sad with happiness sprinkled in. Bleeding hearts lurk behind smiles. Sadness roars to life when you least expect it. For other’s it will be mostly happy, with a few undertones of sadness throughout the melody. I’ve experienced both kinds of holidays, but I’m learning to give voice to each set of emotions. My happiness is richer when I feel the sadness, and my sadness feels less dark when I acknowledge my happiness.
For many of us, though, the holidays are riddled with anxiety. Are we doing enough? Did we buy the right gifts? How will we handle the probing questions of Great, great Aunt Matilda?
And then we get anxious because we’re not enjoying the holidays and we wonder where the happiness went. Or we’re sad so we grow anxious about that and wonder if the dark clouds will lift. Our darkness seems even darker in this season of light. Anxiety. It can take over and run rampant in our hearts and mind.
You see, sometimes we think we’re not trusting God when we feel anxious. An absence of anxiety is not the same as trusting God. Trusting God is recognizing the anxiety and then turning to him for hope, consolation, comfort and direction. Anxiety should turn us towards him because it provides us with an opportunity to experience God as our refuge, to pour out our hearts to him, and to practice trusting him.
I found a slip of paper on my nightstand the other day. On it were these words: “Don’t ignore your anxieties, entrust them to God.”
When we entrust our anxieties to the Lord, we then experience our anxiety within the framework of God’s love and security. Trusting God implies absolute confidence and certainty. Things, people, and expectations disappoint, which causes anxiety, but God doesn’t disappoint. When anxiety is great within me, God brings consolation to my soul.
To entrust means to charge with a responsibility or to commit something. Let God be responsible for the thing that is causing you the most anxiety this holiday season. Are you anxious about spending the holidays with someone who disdains everything you hold dear? Entrust your anxieties to God because he’s big enough to handle it, and he cares about your heart. Then look for him throughout the day. Maybe you’ll see evidence of him in the sunrise or the way your breath forms shape as you exhale in the wintery day. Maybe you’ll see evidence of him in the smile in your child’s face, or the private joke shared between you and a loved one.
Anxieties don’t indicate that you don’t trust God, they indicate that you feel less than confident or secure about a situation. Run straight to him for help and guidance. He is good and he will carry you. You simply need to entrust your worries to him and let him do his thing. Have confidence, not in yourself, but in God’s ability to work on your behalf by providing you with comfort and peace.
God is the comforter of our souls. So as you step into this week and know that anxiety lurks, entrust it to him and trust him to provide you with peace.
*Write 3 things you are happy for this holiday season.
*Write 3 things that cause you anxiety.
*Entrust those 3 things to God. And when those three things cause your heart to race, remind yourself that they are God’s responsibility. Your’s is to let him do his job.
*Then receive the peace that he gives and smile.
The anxieties I refer to are not debilitating anxieties. If you are experiencing anxiety that prevents you from functioning in your daily life, please see a trusted healthcare provider.