finding Merry

Better Than Running

Hello and welcome back! Hopefully, you are where you expected to be: Day 2 after discovering Day 1 of this reading plan, Finding Merry: Experiencing joy this Christmas. I’m so glad you are here. Although this time of year is designed to draw out happy emotions and the absolute best in everyone, it can often be a dreaded season for some. Let me remind you, that here you have permission to struggle. Together we will journey to the One who can help us find the merry. Today, we will discover, He is even better than running.

Read the following passage from Psalms:

To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud. Psalm 123:1-4

Read from 2 Chronicles:

O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

Better than Running

Our first child was a runner, but not the elite athlete type. The toddler could unlock, then open a door to run with reckless abandon directly into traffic. Or she would steal away from our hands to run free. Our daughter was not devious, just a freedom-seeker, wanting release from her boundaries. In the midst of the chasing, this toddler illuminated what I tend to do spiritually with God.

I, too, am a runner. Especially on the heels of conflict, pain, or fear my desire is to physically get away. But experience has taught me fleeing is about as effective as a toddler heading for a highway. Not only does this action neglect to solve anything but it can be destructive. No. Running is not the solution.

After another dash toward a busy street, we purchased a safety harness for our daughter to use on outings. This mechanism required her to learn to stick close to mom and pay attention to my voice.

Lessons for a King

This discipline is similar to what Jehoshaphat learned as king of Judah. Once his kingdom faced horrific odds. The enemy outnumbered his troops one-hundred to one. The Bible tells us there were hoards against him. Running would have been a logical option, but Jehoshaphat chose to stay close and keep his eyes on the Lord.

When we don’t know what to do, the pain is too great, and everything in us wants to run, there is another option. We can stick close to our Father, and listen to His voice. He will be faithful.

The Christmas season doesn’t eliminate desires to flee that arise from unresolved conflicts, fears of the unknown, and pain that just won’t subside. Often the impetus is intensified. Running may seem more palatable. The added pressures, responsibilities, and emotional weightiness that come in the season can override our normal capacity to hold onto our joy. The key is to stick close to the Father in the middle of the extra to better hear His voice.

What does that look like?

Just what you are doing. Seize the moments. Utilize technology. Steal any time to listen, seek, ponder, receive, and in essence relinquish every part of you that wants to run.

This time, take your cues from Jehoshaphat. Even when running looks like the best option, don’t do it.

Consider how you can better hear the Father in your own season today?

Go back to begin at Day One here.

You can also find a version of this plan at or on the free YouVersion app.

with much affection,