Simple Ways to Make Christmas More PeacefulLet’s face it: Christmas is stressful. Of all the seasons of the year, this is the time of year when we feel the most powerless over the circumstances around us.

At Christmas, we’re not in the driver’s seat. After all, we must be patient while waiting in line to find a parking spot. We have much to do on our to-do list but not enough time or money to get everything done and buy all the presents. When spending time with extended family, we must be mindful of others’ schedules, feelings, and ideas. Often, the whole experience is uncomfortable and frightening. But during this stressful time of year, we can find hope and serenity in the promises of God.

Mary was in her early teens when destiny took her by the hand. She was greeted by an angel who announced that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Messiah. She found herself pregnant, much to the confusion of her fiancé, family, friends, and neighbors. After the angel returned to visit her fiancé, he believed Mary’s story and married her. When the time came to give birth, she and Joseph were required to travel the long, arduous journey to Bethlehem. There, in a smelly stable carved out of the side of a rocky hill, she delivered the baby. Only her husband was there to attend Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:26–2:20).

What power did she have over her circumstances? She was powerless under the will of God, the decree of the state, the limitations of their financial poverty, and the demands of her body. And yet, by holding on to the promises God had given her, she found serenity in her powerlessness and gave birth to the Savior. This Christmas, things may be stressful, but you can stress less. Here are just a few ways to deal with stress:

  • Read God’s Word and pray daily.
  • Schedule time for self-care.
  • When feeling overwhelmed, take a break.
  • Minimize screen time in favor of connection.
  • Attend a Life Recovery Group weekly or a few times a week.

When we are powerless, we can find serenity by holding on to the promises of God. When we do this, we will find new life and salvation being born again into our lives.

No matter our stressful our circumstances are at Christmas, God meets us there with His grace.

By Steve Arterburn and Dr. Dave Stoop

Adapted from The Life Recovery Devotional.