“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3
“Our experience of communion can fluctuate with the inconsistencies of our efforts to engage in those activities which foster that relationship. But God’s
love cannot fluctuate, for we have a union with Christ that nothing can separate.” Bill Kynes, senior pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church
- Hello beautiful! Search out a quiet place to enjoy the nearness of God today. If your children are using you as a jungle gym, give them some dry cereal and take a deep breath; you are teaching them what is important, and they are soaking up your example. Read John 15:1-17, and write your favorite verse from that passage on a post-it note or index card to bring God’s Word with you into every room today.
- I encourage you, if you have time, to look each Scripture up in your own Bible. Flipping through the actual pages helps me to log the message into my mind more permanently.
I am NOT Enough
The multitude of ways to celebrate Christmas usually leaves me paralyzed and unable to sort through which ones are “special enough” for recognizing Jesus’ birth, until this year. This year was different. Before taking a project on, I stopped and asked God for His direction. I knew He would lead me because I was lost in the chaos without Him. When I researched, I found! I prepared, and then I enjoyed! I felt good. My three daughters were learning and loving the Advent journey exactly as I had hoped they would during this season, and it wasn’t me who had brought it about. Peace was present in my home because I had purposed to abide by God’s direction. Luke 2:14 sang in my head, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
This incredible peace covered me until the last day before returning home from our first of two visits to Texas. My heart was burdened by a conflict that had arisen between the sides of my already separated family; each step throughout my morning had seemed like I was dragging cinder blocks across the floor. I stared at my husband and admitted dreading our return for Christmas Day only a week in the future.
Mama, are you there with me? Has this season wrapped you in great joy only to have the father of lies (John 8:44) weigh your heart down by burdens too heavy and cumbersome? Remember with me the soothing promise of Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” At the beginning of this season, I knew I wasn’t enough to make Christmas special, but when there was a conflict that I assumed I could handle on my own, my rest in God’s direction ceased. My all-time favorite verse is Galatians 3:3 (NLT), “How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” Take a step back. Can you manifest the joy that Christ’s birth brings by your own creativity? No. I find it disappointingly easy to pick up a burden with my own strength and step away from the Vine. I need to be constantly reminded of John 15:4, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.” Yet if I just as easily recognize my need to stay in communion with Jesus, my joy will be made complete, just as in John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Yes, the conflict remains waiting to be resolved when I venture back across Colorado, New Mexico, and deep into the heart of Texas. Fortunately, God isn’t relying on my ability to create peace for my family. I encourage you, precious daughter of God, that you are not expected to be enough for what is ahead of you. Jeremiah 31:9 reminds us of God’s heart toward His people, “I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble.” Let us not wander from our Vine who lavishly covers us in His peace and strength, moment by moment.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- What are your thoughts throughout the day? Are you in constant conversation with God? Where do your thoughts go when conflict arises? What verses from God’s Word can overcome the lies that you are being fed?
When I saw that my mind wasn’t in communion with God, Psalm 19:14 is what I clung to. It’s written on an index card that has been carried in my back pocket, stuck to my bathroom mirror, and recited a thousand times. Psalm 19:14 states, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be
pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Try writing a verse and bringing it with you. Speak the verse out loud; this habit will remind you and Satan that he has no place in your mind.
Here are more Scriptures that can encourage you to abide in God’s strength, no matter what conflict
- Isaiah 54:10: “‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
- Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”