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Dec 28 2014

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Traffic Jams and Jangled Nerves

As you look back on the Christmas season, how did you do?  With all the hustle and bustle of the season, did you manage to live with inner peace and joy and focus on Jesus’ birthday?  Or did you end up rushing around with jangled nerves?  If so, it’s time to refresh yourself in God’s Presence and get your peace back.  Start the New Year by letting God blossom in your life.

Traffic Jams and Jangled Nerves

by Marilyn Murphree

“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”      Isaiah 35:1, 2

Sandy and her mother went shopping and as they were driving to the store, the horn blew. The little girl asked, “Was that an accident or did you do it on purpose?”

“Oh, it was just an accident,” assured the mother.

The little girl said, “I thought it was, because you didn’t say, ‘JERK!’”

Living in an imperfect world, there will always be our share of traffic jams and jangled nerves and occasions in which we could say ‘Jerk!’

There will always be something that tries to rob us of our joy, especially during the Christmas season. Anything that causes us to become agitated and upset steals the joy that Jesus came to bring us.

Isaiah spoke to people in his day who were upset by fear. Their nerves were on edge because they didn’t know what was going to happen in their country or in their personal lives. In spite of messages of judgment on all nations, including Israel and Judah, for rejecting God, things began to change. In just a few short verses in chapter 35 there is a breakthrough.

Isaiah described their turnaround as a desert land that will begin to burst into bloom with plants, like the crocus in early spring. There would be a new sense of excitement and joy. People who had felt their lives were a tangled mess would be able to shout for joy once again. The depression and heaviness would begin to lift from their lives. It didn’t mean that the present world would be perfect for them, but there would be a new sense of God’s presence among them.

When our lives become drained of joy, it is easy to become impatient and irritated by situations and people around us. How can our lives become joyful again in spite of traffic jams and jangled nerves?

Many scriptures point to how we can recover the joy of the Lord. One of the best known scriptures is Psalm 51 when David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psalm 51:12). When he refocused, God began to do the impossible. Right in the middle of your agitation, begin to pray about your traffic jams and jangled nerves. Have you asked the Lord to not only forgive and cleanse, but to also restore your joy? Too often we forget that part.

THINK: In this New Year season, restoration is possible.

Marilyn Murphree is a writer, artist, musician, and retired pastor.  She is the author of several books which are available on Amazon.com

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