Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
I’m sure many of you will be able to relate when I say that the past few weeks since Thanksgiving have been FULL. There is always so much to do in this season – end of year deadlines and holiday parties at work, festive activities that fill every square inch on the calendar, and of course, the nostalgic evenings spent baking Christmas sweets and decorating the house in all things red and green.
My roommates and I spend the first weekend in December in full Christmas mode; we decorated our little tree, hung our stockings, made gingerbread cookies, took Christmas pictures, and cozied up on the couch to watch our favorite Christmas movies.
I’ve been looking forward to this season for so many reasons. Growing up in Montana winters taught me to love those quiet, cozy evenings spent with my favorite people, and as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate those moments even more as they provide an opportunity to slow down, catch my breath, relax, and truly enjoy the company of those around me.
However, I let the stress of the work sprint-to-the-finish-line mentality get to me again this year, and by the time I stepped on the plane to head out to a fun-filled vacation week, I was exhausted. I had forgotten that this is the season of peace despite being surrounded by its symbols and reminders all month long.
Psalm 46:10 reminds us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” Be still. Be still. I am always prone to filling every nook and cranny in my life with things to keep me occupied: A full calendar of events, a list of books to read, a to-do list a mile and a half long. I am never still. It is one of the habits I hope to cultivate this year – taking a daily moment of stillness to breathe and recheck my priorities. But God is not calling us to just embrace stillness. “Be still and KNOW that I am God.” The peace of this joyous season was ushered in by He who was born in Bethlehem, and that perfect peace can only be found in knowing Him. But the knowing isn’t like how you know your phone number or know your best friend’s favorite song. This is the deep kind of knowing that settles in your soul, solid and comforting no matter what is happening in life around you. The kind of knowing that produces raw and honest faith to say, “God, I’m struggling to understand you, but I will keep choosing to trust in who you say you are despite the struggle.” Be still and know that I am God. That is how I want to know God, both now and in the years ahead. I hope you’ve been able to sense God’s peace in this season, and I hope that 2016 will be a year filled with moments of stillness and opportunities to know God for who he really is. Merry Christmas everyone, and wishing you a very joyful and peace-filled New Year!