Our Shield From Holiday Stress

This morning I turned to Psalm 115, and my eyes lighted on verses 9, 10, and 11, where I had circled the same phrase in each: “…he is their help and shield.” In Hebrew words are repeated for emphasis, and to repeat this phrase three times makes it superlative, most important for us to pay attention to.
It struck me that in this Advent season of the year leading up to our Savior’s birth, we very much need God to be our help and shield. We need His help to keep in step with the Spirit to avoid the materialism the world constantly promotes. We need His help to keep our eyes on Christ, to avoid being swept away by torrents of busyness—much of which is good, but will keep us from God’s best if we let it.
We must call out to God, our shield, to protect our minds from information overload, our hearts from being distracted by traditions that can take over our time and energy if we let them. Often, the more we try to simplify, the more complicated this season of the year becomes.
Father, be our help and shield…surround us with Your presence so that everywhere we go, in everything we do, we have the sense of being close to You.  Help us to recognize distractions for what they are, so that we can avoid or dismiss them.
Keep our hearts focused on Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer,so that all that we do will be done in His name and for Your glory. 
In Jesus’ name, amen.
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