It is now officially The Holidays. That “wonderful?” time from Halloween through New Years that stresses us out and holds up unrealistic expectations. No doubt you have your own list of things to be grateful for and things to be annoyed by. To help everyone manage the crushing anxiety of the holidays, here are my five tips from the Bible about how to cope with stress this season.
1) If lonely, invite yourself to a neighbors’ packed party by digging a hole in their roof and repelling down right in the middle. Jesus found this act commendable and thus I think that if you see a bunch of cars parked in front of someone’s house, and you don’t have anywhere else to be, consider yourself invited!
2) If served bad food, complain about the food. When the Israelites complained about food in the wilderness, God answered and sent them quail! Thus if you are at a gathering and the food isn’t to your liking, God has shown us that if you complain, God hears and might just send something better. (if I don’t get a turducken, God is gonna hear about it until I do!)
3) If you’re frustrated with your life, take a walk into a river. God has shown on several instances that just stepping into the water God will part the waters and lead you to a better life on the other side (locations may vary depending on which river God parts for you). So whether you live near the Mississippi, Meramec, the Missouri, or Gravois Creek, go ahead and get walking through that river!
4) Sell all, not just some, ALL your stuff. The early disciples took great pride in selling their stuff to de-stress and live a simpler kind of life. Embrace this teaching to declutter your house (win!), and you’ll get rid of your mortgage too (double win!) If you opt for this method, just don’t lie about it like Ananias and Saphira did, or you won’t have much time to enjoy your new relaxed lifestyle.
Hopefully these joke made you smile. But in all seriousness, if you are stressed, here is one tried and true way to calm down—take a breath and be still with God.
5) Take some time for yourself and walk out where there are no other people (this can be out in the wilderness, a quiet street, even the next room with the door closed). So many passages have people, prophets, and even Jesus, going off to a solitary place for a time. It is in these moments that they realize God is with them, they are not alone, and that God’s love is pouring over them. They are encouraged and strengthened by letting go for a few moments in quiet solitude.
Let God be a part of your life this busy holiday season. I am sure that God will give you the peace and grace your heart needs. May God’s word be a light to our path and a lamp to our feet.