Joy in the Busyness
Heather Jones

It’s an exciting and magical time of year. Christmas décor adds festive color and a fun flair to everyone’s home. Christmas candles fill rooms with a sweet aroma, Christmas coffee flavors delight the palate, and Christmas gatherings build lifelong memories with family and friends. The “things” of Christmas are all around, giving us many opportunities for activities and fellowship.

If you find this to be true, you will agree – we are not bored.

This December for my family has become one of the busiest months we have had in a long time. Multiple Christmas gatherings, birthday parties, a family trip, out-of-town visitors, and special church activities…. all on top of our regular to-do list for the month. Our hearts are full as we celebrate the most wonderful time of year with the ones we love, but our calendar is also full, leaving us exhausted quite often lately. During times like these, when the busyness is overwhelming and our bodies are physically tired, I am thankful for God’s Word that keeps our minds focused on Jesus and rejuvenates our souls.

Several years ago, my family took a trip to St. Simons Island, GA, and stayed at a well-known Christian retreat center called Epworth by the Sea. It’s a beautiful campus located on the banks of the Frederica River. Mossy Oak trees line the entrance upon your arrival, a site that beckons you to relax and enjoy all of God’s incredible creation.

As we walked along the riverbanks one morning, we found a rock that someone had hidden near the campus’s prayer chapel. Written on it was the verse Psalm 61: 2: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” I had to keep it. It now sits on my dresser and serves as a reminder to give all my cares to the Lord. Needless to say, it is a daily reminder year-round.

The Bible tells us that God’s Word is like a sword that we use in battle (Ephesians 6:17). With it, we fight all temptation, anxiety, loneliness, worry, and all the other lies the Enemy tries to deceive us with. During a time of year when it’s easy to become overwhelmed and distracted with the “things” of the season, let us hold firm to a few Truths from God’s Word:

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

God’s Word is vital to us. It holds everything we need in every season of life, in all circumstances.

So, as we sing the Christmas carols…and decorate the Christmas tree…and buy all the presents…and enjoy all the exciting and magical “things” the holiday season has to offer, let us set our hearts on the things above and hold God’s Word close. Let our hearts not become overwhelmed with the busyness of the season but remain full of joy, knowing that the birth of Jesus brings HOPE of our salvation. And that is certainly something to celebrate!

Let’s talk about it…

  1. Are there any circumstances this holiday season that is overwhelming your heart? Loss of a loved one? Family issues? Wayward children? Marital problems? Take time to surrender these things to Jesus and seek Him for joy as you approach Christmastime this year.
  2. Is the busyness of the holiday season distracting you from experiencing joy?
  3. What other verses remind you to set your heart and mind of Jesus this holiday season?