The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Time to Trust | Anxious Thoughts
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. Psalm 94:19
Amazon changed the delivery date to January…the only in-laws coming for Christmas are the out-laws… you’ve overspent trying to make everyone happy…you bought the wrong model and now you’re ready to jump out the window or down a bottle of Xanax—whichever is closer. The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful. Mental health professionals tell us that depression and suicide spike around the holidays. The reasons are myriad, but one that haunts us all is the subconscious assumption that life should be a Hallmark card. The Christmas season magnifies that fantasy with expectations that sap our joy. Regardless of our situation at the holidays, anxious thoughts can quickly multiply within us.
Anxious thoughts have become a way of life for 21st century Americans. We mass produce stress and ship it to the rest of the world. The holidays can intensify that stress when we focus on the fantasy: snowflakes falling at just the right time, invisible violins playing in the background, and everyone behaving like valedictorians of Etiquette School. Then that fantasy slams into YOUR life: your relatives, your bank balance, your twinkly lights that aren’t twinkling, and anxious thoughts start multiplying within you. That happened even in Bible times and the Psalmist invites us to do what he did. He balanced the stress with the unshakeable truths of God’s word. Instead of a bottle, he ran to God’s promises. He brushed away temporary anxieties by refocusing on eternal realities. When God consoles us, He trades worry for trust, despair for hope, and anxiety for delight.
Final Thought: Where do you run when anxious thoughts multiply within you?
Prayer: Father, I struggle with anxious thoughts, especially this time of year. I don’t always run to the right things. I purpose now to create new patterns. Show me how to find consolations in your word that delight my soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen.