Falling out is a term used to describe what happens to a Soldier who collapses during a parade. Often it is as much a result of circumstances beyond the Soldier’s control (unseasonable weather, heavy gear, long-winded speakers, etc) as it is caused by their failure to properly prepare before taking their place in formation.
Proper hydration and nutrition can make a world of difference in the body’s ability to withstand difficult circumstances.
Falling out also gives us a picture of what happens when we succumb to the effects of stress in our lives. It might look like exhaustion, anxiety, illness, or even injury. We simply reach a point where we can’t go on.
Collapsing makes a bigger MESS out of things than taking time to properly prepare. Often, when we go down we take others with us. Several people may be needed to get us back up on our feet again. And let’s not even talk about all the To-Do List items that won’t get checked off while we’re being forced to rest and recover. If we fall out, we’ll wind up even more entangled in stress this season.
We cannot always control what we face in life, but we can determine how ready we are to withstand whatever life throws at us.
So, what’s the solution?
We must fill up before we fall out.
I don’t know about you, but for me two of the first things to fall by the wayside during the busy-ness of December are a healthy diet and spending time with the Lord. Yet these two tasks may keep us from collapse.
Eating well and staying hydrated go a long way toward preparing our bodies for the rigorous demands of a stressful holiday season.
But man does not live on bread alone. Jesus is both the living water and the bread of life. So we need to feast spiritually, too.
We must be filled with His Spirit to face the grueling days ahead. At the moment of our salvation, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and strengthen us. It is a gift we cannot lose, but too often we crowd it out with busy-ness, sin, and grumbling. This force is so powerful Jesus admonished His followers to wait in a protected location in Jerusalem for the coming of the Spirit before going out and spreading the gospel in all the lands. He knew the opposition they would face and how important it was that they be filled up so they wouldn’t fall out.
If we enter into stressful situations unfortified, we are more likely to fall out, but filling up spiritually prepares us to face holiday stress.
Feasting on the Word fills us with sustaining truths needed to face tricky situations. Spending time in prayer aligns our hearts with the Father’s will and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Remembering God is always faithful to His promises, no matter what we face, strengthens our hearts to withstand the challenges ahead.
To keep from falling out, fill up by feasting on the Father’s truth, strength, and faithfulness. When we do, we will not only untangle the mess of holiday stress, we will be overflowing with His love and goodness this season.
Filling up before falling out untangles the MESS of holiday stress.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
For more insight on untangling the mess of holiday stress see these other posts:
Part 2: Fix Your Focus
Part 3: Decide with Priorities Not Pride
Part 5: Restore with Regular Rest