The holidays can be stressful and this year has been full of difficult situations for everyone. I believe that the Bible has messages that are valid for us today. Consider 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 8 – 10.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Because of the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ this message of hope is possible. Beyond all reason, I choose to be genuinely cheerful.
This doesn’t mean that I am not initially affected by difficult and stressful times. I believe I have a choice in how I respond. I have a variety of tools to assist me. Yesterday I reached out to a friend with whom I knew I could be authentic and she would listen and laugh with me. I find joy in the spontaneous laughter of my grandchildren. I play a board game Nick and laugh with him when he wins the game. I make a gift for a friend anticipating the image of her opening the package when it arrives in the mail. I read a book that makes me think about things that are important to me. My personal daily devotionals of scripture study, prayer and meditation help ground me. I make sure that I get enough sleep and find time for relaxation, which for me currently is watching Christmas movies and video chats with friends. I send messages of love and support through emails and social media to those I care about. Each of these things and more help me find balance and peace in my life in spite of current events.
Whatever it looks like for you, find things that bring you peace and joy. Choose to be cheerful.