Surviving the Holiday Stress: Just Give Up

     Christmas is less than a week away. School is out. Store shelves are picked over. Your kids are probably waiting anxiously to jump out of bed on Christmas morning and unwrap their gifts sitting under the tree. We can all remember that feeling, but that kind of anxious excitement is hard to match for adults.

     The Christmas season can bring a different kind of anxiety for us. Instead of night-before-Christmas excitement, we might feel anxious about keeping up with bills, finding the present that our kid really, really wants, or losing that inevitable holiday weight. Recently, I had some unexpected car trouble. When I got the estimate for the repair, my knee-jerk reaction was to worry. “How am I going to pay for this?” In all of our lives, we have things that stress us out. So how do we handle this anxiety? The answer: Just give up.

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
-Matthew 6:27, 31-32
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
-Philippians 4:6

     These classic passages from the Bible tell us to give up on anxiety and worry. I must admit that in stressful times, I’m not always thinking of how God is at work. If I do, it’s often in a sarcastic “How on earth is God providing for me right now?” Knowing that God cares enough about us to provide for our needs is a comforting truth. But there’s a difference between knowing this truth and acting on it.

     Jobs change. Cars change. Health changes. Friends change. These verses remind us that God’s love and kindness is not affected by the seasons or our situations. In a world of inconsistency, God doesn’t change. Instead of giving into worrying and anxiety, we need to hand over control to the God who can do something about it. We just need to give up.