Advent begins in one week and I admit, this year, my spirit is looking forward to this season more so than usual. Advent is that time of year that quiets my soul in the middle of chaos, and I know that many of us need our souls to find rest this year.
We have all experienced stressful seasons in our lives.
One thing that we may not truly understand is that stress is not just an emotional response to difficult circumstances, it’s also a physical response. When we experience stress, there are chemical and hormonal responses that occur in our bodies that are meant to be protective measures to keep us physically safe until the perceived threat is gone.
But when we experience long-term emotional stress, our bodies struggle to maintain these same responses. What this means is that even when the thing that caused us stress or difficulty to begin with has passed, on the inside, we still feel like we can’t stop. We have trained our bodies to “live” in the circumstances.
The result- anxiety and panic disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, depression, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart disease, uncontrolled rage or sadness. Relationship problems begin to occur because we have such a heightened sensitivity to things that people say and do (or fail to say or do).
We need rest. Desperately, we need it.
And so we prepare for Advent- itself a time of preparation, but it’s the kind of preparation that reminds us of great promises- the promise of a Savior, of perfect love, of constant fellowship with Him now and in eternity, the promise of peace, the promise of Heaven; and so many more.
Advent is not a sorrowful preparation- it’s a time of joyful preparation.
As we allow our hearts to linger a little longer in His presence during the coming days, my prayer is that we will feel His heart beating with ours. That we will feel the soothing touch of His hand calming our spirits. That we will rest in what He has done, and continues to do, to sustain us and to grow us more like Him. Advent isn’t a time for us to sorrow over our sins and failures, but to take joy in His presence in our lives.
Do you have your Advent devotional yet?
Tomorrow will be the last day my book is available for $5 on Amazon, so I hope you will take advantage of it. Remember that the proceeds from every book go to Grasp, International, a mission organization that is doing some great things. Make sure to take a look at their website for more information.