Isaiah 9:6 on an image with Christmas candles in the dark.

We’ve barely entered December, and I’m already tired. I’m suffering from a bit of the bah humbugs that probably come, at least in part, from the shorter, colder and drearier days. I’m tempted to coax through the holidays, and, honestly, to make them all about me. A time to rest, to watch movies and read books. To maybe go out for coffee with my daughter and friends and out to dinner with my man. 

It doesn’t take much for me to turn my focus inward. But it also doesn’t take much for me to lift my gaze, which inevitably lifts my heart as well. I can determine, well-before I attend my first Christmas party, I drop the turkey on the floor, or burn the pumpkin pie, to worship. 

I’m convinced that is the only way I will truly experience enduring, soul-deep joy. The same joy that filled the wisemen’s souls when they encountered the Christ child.

While Scripture doesn’t specify their country of origin, many scholars suggest they might have traveled from modern day Iran, a distance of 1,600 miles or more, most likely by camel. A potentially sixty-day endeavor, round trip. If you’ve ever driven down a bumpy road in a vehicle with no radio, air conditioning, or heat, you can imagine how uncomfortable their journey must have been. And no doubt they experienced challenges, frustrations, and the occasional quarrel along the way. 

Yet still “they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matthew 2:10, ESV). 

Matthew 2:10 on a picture with candles.

They rejoiced.


With great joy.

I don’t know if Scripture could say this more emphatically. They experienced deep, deep joy.

Because, before their camels stepped foot on that dusty ancient road leading to Israel, they had already decided to worship. (Matthew 2:2)

This posture enabled them to experience something others, like Herod and his scribes, missed–a personal encounter with the living God. 

Friends, regardless of how tired I might feel today, I refuse to be like Herod and the scribes. I refuse to allow a bah humbug attitude to keep me from experiencing an intimate encounter with Christ. This Christmas, I want to approach every festivity, spilled drink, and potentially uncomfortable conversation with the same expectancy that drove the Magi thousands of miles from their home to the Christ child. 

How are you this holiday season? What is most apt to steal your joy or divert your focus from our only real and abiding source of joy? What might your Christmas look like, should you determine, regardless of how dinner turns out, to worship?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

You might also enjoy the latest Your Daily Bible Verse episode below.

Where Is Your Hiding Place? (Psalm 32:7) Your Daily Bible Verse

Today’s Bible Verse: You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.   Want to listen without the ads? Become a PLUS Member today:   MEET OUR HOSTS:   JENNIFER SLATTERY is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at   Follow Jennifer:    CAROL MCCRACKEN is a Christian communicator who teaches women Biblical truths through real-life application and humor to connect them to their God-given purpose. Carol has been a Bible teacher for twenty years and served on church staff and in women's ministry for three decades.   Follow Carol:   REVEREND DR. KYLE NORMAN is the Rector of St. Paul’s Cathedral, located in Kamloops BC, Canada.  He holds a doctorate in Spiritual formation and is a sought-after writer, speaker, and retreat leader. His writing can be found at,,, Renovare Canada, and many others.  He also maintains his own blog  He has 20 years of pastoral experience, and his ministry focuses on helping people overcome times of spiritual discouragement.   Follow Rev. Kyle:   JOY A. WILLIAMS is a writer and speaker who is amazed her first name became her life’s mission. As life happens in ways that baffle us or bring us joy, she loves exploring how those moments can bring us closer to God.  She is a member of the “First 5” writing team at Proverbs 31 ministries. As a licensed minister, she serves as a teacher for the Women’s Bible Study and the Married Couples Ministry at her church.  Joy is a wife and mother and she shares encouragement on the “Joy to the Soul” blog.  Subscribe to receive the newest posts and updates at   Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest   Read Joy’s 7-day Bible reading plans: “Live Your Joy Story” and “When Easy Doesn’t Live Here: Living by Faith When Life Is Hard” on the YouVersion Bible app.   JESSICA VAN ROEKEL loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She is the author of Reframing Rejection: How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything.   Jessica and her husband have two adult daughters spreading their wings, and two high schoolers, a son and daughter, fluttering their wings as they edge closer to the nest. Connect with her at and Discover more Christian podcasts at and inquire about advertising opportunities at
  1. Where Is Your Hiding Place? (Psalm 32:7)
  2. When the Church Is Messy (Matthew 18:15)
  3. Fighting Fear by Experiencing God's Presence (Psalm 27:4)
  4. The Secret to Tranquility (Psalm 37:3)
  5. Go to the Light (John 4:29)