As I write this, it is the second week of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation. For most of us, it is easy to become anxious with so much to do to get ready for Christmas. As caretakers, there is an overwhelming list of needs to be fulfilled, regardless of any season. The Scripture says anxiety can lead to depression and that can be an unhealthy place. Once we become anxious our emotions often take over. I do my best to let emotions subside, take a step back and try to see from God’s perspective. Usually, I am then able to make a wiser decision based on what I know, rather than what I feel. The closer to God I live, the clearer I can see the way forward.
In this winter season, darkness comes sooner. We are reminded in Psalm 118:27, “The Lord is God and has given us light.” Light gives us insight. Turning on a light in a dark room allows us to see what’s there. The light God gives us does the same thing spiritually. We might be irritable or discouraged with those we are taking care of. This probably means we have resentments and hurts beneath the surface and our anxiety or worries are getting the best of us. God’s light can bring us hope, but we need to do our part, choosing to be lighthearted, taking ourselves less serious and praying the Lord will help us walk in light one day at a time.
Having hope and expectancy, we believe things will get better. Choosing not to let life make us sour takes ongoing effort. Remaining balanced and not overcommitted can bring less stress. Being rooted and nourished by the Scriptures maintains our hope. When the world around us looks confusing and evil appears to be winning, we remember that God is the light that keeps shining in every situation. We may have to search for the blessings scattered along our pathway, even in the hardest times and hopefully, thank God for each one.
Connecting with God interrupts the negative thoughts that tend to course through our mind. The more consistently we communicate with our Inner Spirit, the freer we will become. When the mind is idle, it usually moves toward a negative focus, regretting things in the past, worrying about the future. I have found it helpful to look through a lens of gratefulness by thinking about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)
We gain immense encouragement and support when we let the Scriptures be our foundation. We can all use reminders of God’s unfailing love. Isaiah 54:10, “Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, My love shall never leave you nor My covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” What a wonderful promise of God’s presence and how grateful we are to stand on this solid rock, no matter our circumstances! Will you choose peace and love today?