For many people, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is fun yet frantic: tasks to complete at work before the end of the year, family matters, and special events and services at church. The frenetic pace of juggling multiple commitments creates stress and even depression. For other folks, these weeks are difficult because of loneliness, ill health, or loss. Where do you fall on the spectrum? If you are struggling, you are not alone.
Noah, Moses, David, and even Jesus experienced difficult times when they were overwhelmed.
Think about Noah. Aware that the earth and all that was in it would be destroyed, he had to construct a vessel to carry people, animals, and supplies to last for a couple of years. My study Bible indicates the ark had a displacement of about 20,000 tons – a little less than half that of a cruise ship – and he built it one stick at a time.
What about Moses? First he had to convince the monarch who enslaved his people to set them free, and then he had to get those people across the desert to a land God promised them. And by the way, population estimates range from 600,000 to well over a million. A bit like herding cats, I would imagine.
Remember David? Anointed by God to replace Saul, David ruled Israel during a contentious period in their history, to say nothing of managing his household of eight wives, ten concubines, and their children. He also had to run for his life on more than one occasion.
The night before he was crucified Jesus sweat drops of blood. It is said he experienced a rare condition called haematidrosis, the result of extreme stress.
But these men were not alone, and we are not either. We have a heavenly father who walks with us each step of the way whether we are celebrating or whether we want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over our heads. It can be helpful to contact friends for support during the good times and bad, but it’s necessary for our well-being to crawl into our Father’s lap to commune with him. He, not our friends, gives us the peace that passes understanding.
The holidays are over. Are you a little worse for wear? Go to the throne instead of the phone.
“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray;
and when it was evening, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23 NASB
Linda Shenton Matchett
With a BA in Psychology and Masters in Human Resource Management, Linda Matchett has had a wide and varied career as a crisis counselor, HR generalist, B&B owner and youth center director. She is currently the Front of House, Snackbar & Catering Manager at Brewster Academy. A journalist and blogger, she has written for numerous online and print publications. An author of Christian contemporary and historical fiction, Linda is also a a motivational speaker. Available topics include Life on the (WWII) Home Front, Wartime Baking, Women in the (WWII) Workforce, The Writer’s Life, God in the Workplace, The Proverbs 31 Gal: The Woman We Love to Hate, and Ruth: Lessons from a Foreigner. Linda is a member of First Baptist Church Wolfeboro where she sings in the choir and serves as Church Treasurer and a member of the Fellowship Team.
Read some devotional blogs from around the region!