Receive peace and rest in gift of Christ

Calera First United Methodist Church stepped back in time with the interactive presentation “A Night In Bethlehem” on Dec. 14. Travelers paid the tax collector as they entered the city, interacted with merchants, talked with Roman soldiers and witnessed the birth of Jesus Christ. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

I like unexpected surprises, but I have a hard time waiting for expected ones. I remember finding Christmas presents in closets until Santa wised up.

One Christmas Eve, I was awakened, looked out the window and saw Santa getting presents from the trunk of my dad’s car.

Expectation reveals my curiosity, impatience and restless anticipation. With foreknowledge I can plan, but the unknown can be fearful and worrisome.

Worrying produces stress, but saying “don’t worry” is like saying “don’t breathe.” Worrying seems to function like an involuntary muscle. Left untreated, stress can lead to depression or could cause a tragedy such as violence or suicide.

There are ways to bridle stress, e.g., talk to a friend or counselor, exercise, eat healthy, rest and medication. Most importantly is to manage it, but therein lies the problem-managing stress. I don’t want to manage it. I want it to go away and go away now (see paragraph 2 — impatience).

All the ways to manage stress help, but sooner or later the issue must be faced and dealt with. When faced with difficulties I need someone to talk to. Someone who understands me and has my best interest in mind. Many years ago, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ for not only eternal life, but to help me through this life.

I don’t have to be in a particular place to talk to him. Father, God, Christ and Lord Jesus are names I call him. Sometimes I’m so stressed I can only utter his name and that’s okay because he knows what’s going on in my life. After I’ve entrusted him with the outcome, it’s up to me to stop worrying. If I continue to worry it means I’ve not completely trusted him.

Jesus used the analogy of yoked oxen to depict placing burdens on him. An older, stronger ox is yoked with a young, inexperienced one. With harnesses around their necks they are held together, preventing the weaker animal to stray or stumble. Co-yoked with Jesus I transfer my concerns to him as he carries me through the burdens of life. When I stumble, he’s there to pick me up. When I have no place else to turn, he’s there to support me.

Yoke yourself to this Christmas season and receive peace and rest. His peace doesn’t promise you a rose garden, but it will give you rest on a bed of thorns. Thank you heavenly Father for the gift of Christ.

 

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.