Jan 04 2011

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Devotional: Post-Holiday Stress

Dr. Marilyn Murphree

Dr. Marilyn Murphree

by Dr. Marilyn S. Murphree

“Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you.”   1 Peter 5:7

A whirl of activity—laughter—glittering tinsel and sparkling lights…Where did it all go?  You ask, “Why am I feeling this way?  What’s wrong with me?”

Understanding what happens after the holidays is as important, or more so, than understanding the build up of stress before the anticipated day.  We have often worn ourselves to a frazzle with last minute shopping, decorating, parties, buying gifts—and yes, assembling toys at midnight on Christmas Eve.  Looking in the mirror reminds us regretfully of the second helpings and the bigger-than-average slices of pecan pie and other temptations we indulged in “just this once.”

Credit card bills begin to haunt us and bring additional pressure to our already stressed out life.  We pick countless dried needles from the once fresh and fragrant tree out of the carpet .  We remember the painful remarks of family members who couldn’t seem to get along together for even five minutes.  We sensed that carefully chosen gifts were not acknowledged or appreciated, and our shoulders sag that much more.  We feel old, tired, and disappointed.  We conclude that it really wasn’t worth all the hassle and vow not to do it all again next year.  We truly feel let down.  Although it was the Savior’s day, He often does not make it into our out-of-control world.

What went wrong, and what can we do about it?  A short verse in I Peter gives us a clue.  Peter reminds us to “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  We often worry about our problems and try to carry all of our worries, stresses, and daily struggles by ourselves. When we do this, it shows that we have not trusted God fully with our lives.  Can we admit that we can’t handle things?  Can we acknowledge God in our chaotic lives?  Do we recognize that He not only loves us, but wants more than anything else to show us an easier way to handle our stresses?

Rather than to cave in from the pressures of life, let us remember to cast these cares on the Lord, for He cares for us and can teach us a better way.  Let God have your anxieties, no matter how they came about in your life.  Sometimes we feel that struggles caused by our own bad choices are not God’s concern.  But when we admit them and turn to Him, He will show us a way through even those cares.  The first step out of our dilemma, however, is to look to the Lord.  Then He helps us to bring other things into proper perspective, whether it is to get a good night’s sleep to to figure out a plan to pay off Christmas debt.

THINK:  The Lord knows our situations and wants to help us in our times of need.
This devotional is from Marilyn’s first book, Moments with Marilyn.



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