How are you managing this Christmas season? | MARK MASRI

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted!  I can’t tell you how good it feels to be down to the last week of what has been a 2 month tour with The Tenors.  Please don’t get me wrong, we have thoroughly enjoyed thrilling audiences across North America and parts of Europe but the late nights, travel across time zones, living out of a suitcase and the physical exertion that comes with giving your all night after night starts to wear on you.  At this point all I want is a pizza night with my family and my own bed!  Zzzzzz

It makes me think about Mary and Joseph’s final days leading up to the big birth.  Imagine, Mary late in her pregnancy, dealing with the pressures of late nights, travel on a donkey, cooler temperatures and a whole boatload of uncertainty about the future; not to mention the social and cultural pressures they would have been under as their situation was anything but ‘normal’. We might classify this as an anything-but-ideal situation, but here they are acting out of obedience because they had heard from God.

I find it amazing how much we can accomplish when we have a promise or prompting from God.  It’s the anchor we can tether ourselves to when the going gets tough – when we’re tired and feel like giving up.  That’s not to say that at times we don’t question whether we’ve heard God correctly, but that’s okay.  I mean like certainly the birth of God’s son would have come with bit more pomp and circumstance complete with a royal palace birthing suite, healthcare aids and personal assistants everywhere, right?  

Luke 2:7 tells us otherwise,

“and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”  

To quote the lyrics of a song…

“Isn’t It Amazing The Way He Came?

No Crown, No Throne No Big Parade

There Were No Fanfares Played, No Jubilant Display

Isn’t It Amazing How He Came?”

The Saviour of the world came in lowly form to make connection with those He created.  How remarkable is that?  It’s also equally amazing how God equipped Mary and Joseph for the task.  I’m sure there were many times Mary had to go back to the words she had recited just month’s earlier while visiting her cousin Elizabeth,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

Luke 1:46-49

Now I suppose if I only had my strength to depend on, aspects of my singing career would drive me to some pretty dark places, but the truth is I am not alone on this journey.  In fact, we all have access to the greatest resilience source of all. JESUS!  Night after night it has been my prayer for the glory of God to be revealed and that we would sense His pleasure as we return the gifts He’s entrusted to us back to Him. And you know what?  He shows up every time.

A cool story to underscore this truth.  One night following our show in Minneapolis, a lady came up to me and explained how she could see Jesus smiling down over the stage as we ended the concert with O Holy Night.  My eyes welled up with tears and I thanked her for sharing her vision.  My heart was so full by the end of that night. The truth is God always refills our tank when we feel depleted but the secret it to continue going back to Him as THE source.

I don’t know what kind of Christmas you’re facing but I do know this. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

Matthew 11:28

With all the decorating, shopping, parties, preparation, family dinners and family stressors, let the Christ of Christmas be your strength and resilience this holiday season.

If you’re lacking the area of peace, let the Prince of Peace flood your heart with His love and affection for you.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” 

Colassians 3:15

I regularly need a good dose of peace.

One final thought.  I heard it said recently that the remedy for restlessness is remembrance and I just love that.  So, when you find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted by the festivities, remember the goodness of God and audibly give Him thanks.  He loved you so much that He came so that you might live the full life. All you’ve gotta do is receive it. 

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  Now it’s time for some eggnog and a good long nap… LOL