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Janet Denison
Center for Informed Faith, Dallas, TX
December 23, 2010

Janet wrote this year’s Advent book for our ministry. To help prepare for Jesus’ birth, we are using her essays for this last week before Christmas as our daily devotional.
Celebrate with God’s strength

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Invite the peace of God into this moment and trust his strength to be sufficient for all that needs doing. What matters most, is what will matter to God. And he will give you the strength for all that matters. In these moments give him your thoughts and ask for his. His thoughts are not yours and his ways are not your ways.

I used to do a lot more planning, shopping, cooking and wrapping. Now I do a lot more things that matter to my family. No one will ever accuse me of copying Southern Living for my table decorations, gift-wrapping and it goes without saying, my cooking! I don’t want to be tired and weary when Christmas day arrives.

If you can leave work early, or take a day off grab the opportunity and spend the day making a Christmas memory. When Santa flew off the radar at our house, we began to draw names for stockings. Every year we go to a movie, dinner and then we head to Wal-mart. We spend the next 30-40 minutes trying to avoid one another and fill the stocking of the person whose name we chose. It is a great day – although I noticed one year, as I was sneaking around the store, I was being followed by a store detective. It would have been a great story for the Sunday school lesson!

I pray your holiday is free of stress. I hope you are not tired and weary. According to Isaiah, we cannot fathom God’s understanding. Do the things that matter to God because those are the things he knows should matter most to you. And you are promised his strength to do his will. God gave us Christmas, and he gives us the strength to celebrate his Son’s birthday. Let’s not wear ourselves out doing the things that keep us from spending time with the guest of honor.

May we “soar” through this holiday with renewed strength – and a renewed focus on the one who provides it!

You become stronger only when you become weaker. When you surrender your will to God, you discover the resources to do what God requires. Erwin Lutzer

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