A Solution For Holiday Stress

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10 (NIV)

Three days before Christmas I’m feeling frantic, quite sure I’m never going to get done all the things that need doing. That present to my goddaughter that has to be mailed; those stocking stuffers I promised to buy; the Christmas cards that still need to be sent; the “Merry Christmas” e-mails I wanted to write; the present for my wife I have to pick up; the music I brought home from choir rehearsal that I must study before Christmas Eve—when will I get to it?

Then I remember this program at church where we volunteer to give Christmas to a family that’s going through hard times. I haven’t gotten those kids presents yet. When am I going to do that?

Just one more thing! I dash out at lunch, pop my goddaughter’s present in the mail, buy some gloves from a street vendor for stocking stuffers, duck into another store for Carol, and finally make it to the toy store. Now, what would a four-year-old, six-year-old, and eight-year-old boy like? Standing in the aisle of cars and trucks, I still feel frantic, but I’m happy-frantic instead of worried-frantic.

Christmas Eve, I’m amazed at how many presents are under the tree. In choir, the piece that had seemed impossible comes together miraculously. Before the service I check my e-mail to see a message from my goddaughter’s mother: “Package just arrived.” Another miracle. How did the post office do it? How did the choir do it? How did any of us do it?

Then I remember: we did it with love. That was the fuel. That’s where we got the energy. Love and joy and happiness. A miracle good enough to last all year long.

I can do all good things with the energy of Your love, Lord.

By Rick Hamlin
With many joy-filled blessings

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