As the Christmas season is upon us, sometimes as leaders we feel so overwhelmed with family, church needs, personal feelings, that we fail to enjoy the beautiful season God has given us to celebrate the birth of His son. Read guest blogger Deb Douglas’ insight to help us navigate it well this year.
One little fitting on a hot water tank failed and my house is in chaos for the holidays. Sheet rock ripped from the walls, floors torn out, dust on every surface, and furniture moved to safer locations. I am battling down the overwhelming sense of panic wondering how my granddaughter’s first Christmas is going to match my dream Christmas in the midst of this chaos. Christmas as a minister to women is a challenge but when personal challenges mount on top, Christmas becomes a looming deadline rather than a joyful season.
I know God will use this Christmas season of chaos to teach me something amazing, but the obsessive person within me screams, “Lord your timing does not work with my schedule!” Honestly, I do not want to learn this lesson right now but I have no choice but to submit to God. Not just because He is all-powerful but because I have no other choice. This is beyond my ability to cope. I need Him to cope. I need Him to make it through a normal Christmas in ministry, but this year I will have to learn a whole new level of depending on Him. Depending is how I will survive.
Walking that fine tightrope of balancing ministry and family is stressful during a normal season, add in Christmas celebrations and it’s precarious. I constantly must leave my time management at His feet. When I submit to Him, living out my call works. I’m still busy, but I make it through knowing He is at work.
As I write, personal chaos is impacting the ministry. I cannot be in two places at one time; it’s either church or home. My pastor is being understanding but my heart is not. “There’s people to see and ministry to do,” it screams but instead I am waiting on the arrival of another contractor.
Ministry would be much easier if God gave us everything we needed when He called us, but we would miss the joy of knowing that He is at work in us. It’s that joy that gets us through chaos, the faith of knowing He has worked in past and He will work through this circumstance too. Job got through His continual trials by being stubborn in his faith; circumstances or others did not sway him. I need to be stubborn in faith this Christmas.
How to be stubborn in my faith at Christmas?
1. Pray! Pray for my mind to be focused on Godly priorities. Pray for my heart to be in tune to the joy of celebrating Christ’s birth.
2. Look for and submit to the lessons God is teaching in the midst of a chaotic season.
3. Continually remind myself to let go on my expectations.
4. Seek forgiveness for my impatience.
5. Determine to be joyful!
May your Christmas be merry, bright, and stubborn!
Dr. Deb Douglas, is the Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and also serves as one of our LifeWay Ministry Multipliers. Deb launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is the Minister to Women at FBC Bossier City and a conference/retreat speaker, strategic planning consultant, and freelance writer. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, and mother-in-law to Emily.