_ Study _
He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
_ Read _
As I write, “The Wheels on the Bus” is stuck in my head. I babysit my 8-month-old niece once a week and this song is the one thing that will get her to calm down when nothing else will do. Let’s just say we’ve listened to the song a few times today, and just like the wheels go round and round, the song is looping over and over in my mind.
When I was in middle school, I figured out a trick. Anytime unwanted lyrics played through my head, I started singing one of the top hits at the time “Waterfalls” by TLC. (I know that’s aging me a bit. Anyone else remember that jam?) And poof – the other song was gone; I called it my magical song eraser. As cooky as that may sound, it worked every time because there’s power in the practice of replacing a thought with a new one.
A couple years ago, when I was in the midst of a battle with anxiety I came across this sentence in my devotional– “The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My [the Lord’s] presence.” Reading this sentence, a light bulb went on. An anxious thought only has power as long as I give it my attention. If I don’t want to give a fearful thought even the slightest opportunity to trap me in fear, then I need to stop it in its tracks. The best way to do that is to change focus – to take away its power by replacing it with something better.
Whenever we are stuck in an anxious thought, a comparison game, a looping lie of insecurity, or fear we have the power to shift our focus to Christ and find rest. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult; it might mean shifting our focus every five seconds. But every single time, when we shift our focus to Him, to the truth that He is before all things and in Him all things hold together, we will find freedom and peace.
As beautiful as the Advent season is meant to be, it can also be heavily drenched in anxiety due to tense family get-togethers, grief as our loved ones’ absence feels fresh, or an aching sense of longing. My prayer is that today you would replace whatever plagues you by fixing your thoughts on who Jesus is, what He has done, and the truth that no matter what is going on around us, we can find rest in Him.
_ Practice _
10 minute Christian meditation with Caroline Williams
Set aside 10 minutes during your day to do this meditation designed to relieve stress with Caroline Williams. Meditation itself helps us to focus on breathing, slowing and shifting our focus; but what I love about this Christian meditation is, it is designed to shift our focus to Jesus and lay anything that’s stressing us in His strong capable hands.
Caroline is a Christian yoga teacher (you’ll see me share one of her yoga practices throughout the series) who also provides meditation practices. If you’re new to the idea of meditation or yoga being used to glorify the Lord, I pray that you will click this link where Caroline talks about yoga and Christianity.
_ Extra resources _
If you loved this Christian meditation, check out these others by Caroline.
This devotional is part of the A Restful Advent series.
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