There is no denying that this year has been unlike any other we have experienced. For many of us, our mental health has taken a toll with all of the restrictions, uncertainty, sickness, job loss, financial hardship, and in some cases even the death of loved ones.
Even during ordinary seasons, the holidays are often met with emotions like sadness, anxiety, and worry, and this year, these are more present than ever. Our peace has been disrupted and keeps us from being present or even looking forward to these coming weeks and months. It may be hard to celebrate and focus on the meaning of the season given all we are going through.
Taking time to reflect on what this season brings to us as Christ-followers is one way to bring joy during this difficult time. With stay-at-home orders, self-quarantining, and everything else it is easy to feel isolated and alone. We can turn to Scripture to find comfort and help. Isaiah 7:14 states “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.” The word Immanuel translates to God with us. What a beautiful reminder of the presence of the Lord. Even during these incredibly confusing days, we have a God who not only sees us but came down to be with us.
Not only this but Isaiah 9:6b goes even further to say: “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The Prince of Peace. If you’re like me, not all of your days have felt peaceful since COVID-19 began impacting so much of our lives. In fact, if I’m honest, more of my days have felt full of worry than full of peace.
These words from Isaiah remind me that through Jesus I have access to peace. This can look different for everyone, but at the very root of it I believe we have to heed the words of 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” The word cast in the Greek can also be translated as 'throw.' I love this visual of literally throwing over our cares to Jesus.
As we take action to give our worries over to Him, He might be encouraging us to connect with a friend, to read His Word (which we invite you to do with Today in the Word, a daily devotional), or do a number of other things to help ease our worries and increase our peace because He cares for us. Another beautiful reminder of His presence and participation in our lives.
We may be feeling unsettled with so much uncertainty right now. We may be worried about how we are going to get through the days ahead. When anxiety, fear, worry, and sadness seem to be all that is on the horizon, remember that your God loves you so much that He wants you to use Him. Cast your cares on Him and remember that He is with you through each and every day.