An Antidote for the Grinch Virus

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Prince of Peace

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 New American Standard Bible

Is your neighborhood decorated with inflatable holiday characters? These air-blown figures display a miniature version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, but come morning; front yards look like Mr. Grinch murdered our holiday friends. Heaps of unrecognizable characters lie motionlessly deflated on the ground. Sometimes, holiday pressure releases a Grinch virus that kills our Christmas cheer and deflates our elated hearts.

I have to confess; my recent move to Nevada kept me busy unpacking boxes trying to beat the holiday clock. I thought I was doing well until I saw many neighbors decorating their front yards during Thanksgiving weekend. I felt the pressure. Shoot, which moving box has my Christmas decorations? I wondered.

I didn’t want people to think the Scrooge family moved into the neighborhood. Then, reality hit. How many shopping days are left? What’s the postal deadline for Christmas cards? Good grief, I have guests coming for Christmas, and the guestroom looks like a disorganized storage room!

How quickly I allowed life’s minor things to override life’s major things.  

A few days later, I drove by one of those deflated characters, and God revealed my overwhelmed spirit with a plastic Santa. What a great, but humbling, comparison, I thought. I felt like one of those unrecognizable characters. My joy was killed by a “to do” list that deflated my elated heart.

But, there is an antidote for the Grinch virus. Fill me up, Lord, I prayed. My joy leaked again! Grace identifies wrong emotions so we can apply Jesus to the problem and regain peace. We renounce the wrong, and by faith, we receive His peace.  

Don’t let life’s minor things override life’s major things. We can let peace have a permanent home in our hearts.

I want to savor life’s major moments. Jesus can become our plum line. He can help edit our thinking so we can invest our energy in His Kingdom purposes—the major things. 

When you drive by a deflated holiday character, let it trigger a moment of reflection. Are you elated or did you spring a leak? The antidote is simple, “Fill me up Lord!”  

I pray God’s major things will guard your love and joy this Christmas.

Have a blessed weekend.

Marisa Shadrick


 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). . LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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