Will this year’s Thanksgiving be perfect?
Will I mess up the turkey again this year?
Will the tree be perfectly decorated for Christmas?
Will there be enough gifts for everybody?
Will I have the money to buy the items I have in mind for my loved ones?
Will my budget stretch enough for all the presents on my list and food I want to serve?
Will I have enough time to make new memories and enjoy family traditions with my kids?
Will our family take Christmas photos?
Whew, that’s a lot of questions, but let’s forget those for a second.
Instead of trying to determine the answers to those questions, try focusing on Thanksgiving and Christmas as a joyous time of year. “All the feels,” as my five-year-old daughter says.
During the holiday season, our brains often run a mile a minute, thinking about all the tasks we “have to” complete, and as we go, go, go, we often lose our peace in the process. Christmas and Thanksgiving are certainly days to celebrate, but these holidays also bring challenges for many. Some battle loneliness, others feel immense pressure to purchase gifts they cannot afford and some feel as if they need to be in ten places at once.
The questions mentioned above may have crossed your mind during the holiday season, but during a time that promotes “joy to the world,” “giving thanks” and “peace of Earth,” we commonly bombard our spirits with superficial chaos. Sadly, the questions that cross our minds are usually about things, places, finances and events, but the truth is, peace and happiness can only be achieved when we turn our attention to Christ and allow Him to provide a peace that surpasses our understanding and worldly desires.
Peace begins and ends with Jesus Christ.
The peace He brings is profound. It satisfies and heals our deepest thoughts and feelings. His peace brings contentment.
Hey, He wasn’t called “The Prince of Peace” for nothing!
John 14:27 reads, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
When Jesus was born, the angels proclaimed, “Peace on Earth.” In remembering this, choose not to occupy your heart and mind with worldly troubles, but take your heart to Jesus. When your heart is at peace because you are deep in His Word and accepting of His grace, you can be at peace, no matter the circumstances. He brings a peace that surpasses the feeling you get after finishing a lengthy to-do list or finding the perfect wrapping paper and matching bows. Sure, those feelings are great, but those are temporary highs, nothing like the lasting, fulfilling peace from our Lord and Savior.
At the end of the day, you could have the most beautifully wrapped gifts under the most perfectly decorated tree, you could attend lovely holiday gatherings wearing the finest outfits and shoes and you could have a home full of people eating delicious holiday treats, but the search for peace and happiness is not in a tangible gift, person or place. Peace begins and ends with Jesus Christ.
Before we look for peace at the end of our to-do lists, when unwrapping gifts or amid a fabulous Thanksgiving meal, may we be wise and humble to turn our attention to God and look for peace from Him.
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).