I wipe the sleep from my eyes and jab the logs into flame. The first sips of early morning coffee warm me from the inside and I consider the day ahead.
And in that sweet, peaceful moment, I realize how contentment comes at a price. How a heart at peace; real, life-transforming peace, doesn’t just happen with the sunrise. It’s a choice. An effort. A conscious climb out of the pit and toward the Son.
This time of year, amid holiday cheer and merriment, emotions run deep. The piercing flame of deep-seeded pain, sadness, loss…memories and scars of the heart best locked away…somehow rise to the surface.
It’s in those quiet moments when the carols stop playing. When the lights no longer glow. When we’re left alone and vulnerable to the enemy’s best work. It’s in those moments we could either allow ourselves to be overpowered and overcome…or overtaken by the Savior.
The past couple of years I’ve known pain and anger like never before. I nearly drowned in hurt, frustration, anger…abandonment.
But God didn’t save me from sin
merely to spend my days consumed with pain and anger,
all the things that are not of Him.
He has better things in store for me…and for you!
It’s a choice.
It’s life with Him.
Or it’s defeat.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
I think of holding God’s Word in my hands. I hold His laws, His promises to me, His truth. And through open fingers I allow that which is not of Him to run out. All the sadness, pain, anger, worry, even the memories aren’t there for me to dwell on anymore...simply because I've made a choice to reflect the love of God to those around me. He's saved me! He's brought me through! And He continues to do so each and every day!
I do pray you’ll join me in celebrating this season of our Savior’s birth. Hold only His Word in your hands and let the rest trickle through your fingers...washed away forever.