Are You Weighed Down By Expectations This Christmas?

expectationsWhen the expectations of this week overwhelm you, Karlton shares the reason for the season.

“So the king asked me, ‘Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.’ I was very much afraid” (Nehemiah 2:2).

Poor Charlie Brown, nothing ever seems to go his way. In the Peanuts comic strip and cartoons the character “Charlie Brown” has one problem after another. He is a sad sack who finds that life keeps throwing him curves. I think many of us can relate to Charlie Brown.

If we do not look ill we are labeled “malingerers.” When we do look ill we are supposed to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and “faith” our way back to health. Sometimes it seems we cannot win.

With Christmas upon us all of our “normal” challenges are often magnified a hundredfold. Greater expectations are thrown in our direction, additional duties are laid at our feet, and somehow through it all we are expected to spread Christmas cheer and be joyful.

I don’t know about you, but too often I am just treading water without the additional expectations and stresses the holidays bring. It can feel like one more “missed football” will throw me into a full depression like Charlie Brown.

Thankfully we have some “Linus’s” in our camp. We have people willing to point us to the true purpose and meaning of Christmas– One who also was not understood. Jesus received little respect and was too often rejected by others. He was born to die, to ransom us all from this world of pain, sickness, suffering, and death. His resurrection is our hope.

His birth set it all in motion.

When you are feeling overwhelmed this week, consider Jesus. Celebrate Him! Put Him first and perhaps everything else can fall into place in the big picture of what life is really all about.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we celebrate Your birth, it started a process that led to our redemption. You are our hope–it is not presents, not expectations, not feelings. You alone are the gift and reason for Christmas. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is very grateful for God’s indescribable Gift, especially at this time of year.

Are the expectations of others getting you down? Call upon Jesus, ask Him to enter your life and give you the reason to celebrate Christmas.

One of my favorite Christmas songs (that you don’t hear very often) is “I Pray On Christmas.” This is Little Big Town singing this bluesy heartfelt song from a Christmas special earlier this month. As I watched it on TV I blasted the volume and listened to the lyrics in a new way. O, how we must remember to pray on Christmas. I hope it raises your spirits. -Lisa

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