Monday, December 29, 2008

Great Expectations

We don’t normally wake up the day after someone’s birthday and think, “Thank God that’s over!” I am embarrassed to admit December 26 is my second most favorite day of the year (surpassed only by the first day of school for “I’m bored” teenagers). This year, the relief I felt December 26 was so great, it warranted closer examination. Did the enormity of my relief point to something out of balance before Christmas?

You have to concede this about God: if you ask Him to reveal your flaws, He will invariably comply. I have learned not to ask unless I am willing to be humbled and to take corrective action. Mercifully, God is always willing to do the lion’s share of changing us if we but gather the courage to look. So what was my problem that I felt so much better December 26?

The truth is I worry about disappointing people at Christmas. Will the gifts be right? Will the house be clean enough, the food varied enough? Will I spend the right amount of time with the right friends and family? Will anyone’s feelings be hurt by something I say, do or fail to do? It is a lot of pressure. Of course, none of these fears has anything to do with the reason we celebrate Christmas. I believe they are part and parcel of our human condition.

The Good News is that Jesus understands my woeful lapses in faith. He doesn’t take it personally that the passing of His birthday finds me feeling like I’ve just survived a great hurdle. We serve an infinitely loving and patient God who never leaves us as He finds us. By next December, He will have done a great work in me. Of course, I won’t be where I need to be, but I know with all my heart that I won’t be where I am today. What about you? What journey of transformation is He calling you to, today?

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

The last Word:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1: 3-6, NIV.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Oh girl, you're relief cannot surpass mine! I'm with you on the school thing also. Honestly, why are they there today? Who needs two weeks off anyway? I suppose I do.

Truly, I love marking the Christmas season with reminders of Jesus and his holy night, but the rest of it I'm ready to pack away for good. Christmas is what we make of it. I've too long with unrealistic expectations. I'm just ready for my Bible and some sleep!

I'll be pondering this one right along with you in the days to come. Let's "get to it" and get on with living God's peace in full measure.


Denise said...

I consider you a dear blessing. I love you.

Angie said... said it--my sentiments exactly!

This year it so wore me out that I raced to "packed it all back up" the night of the 26th. I was determined I would wake up on the 27th with very little trace left of the glitter and lights.

I missed the point. I concentrated on the wrong things. I was just as you said---worried about everything before hand---gifts, food, people coming/going...I forgot about the GIFT.

So...when the dust settled and we stopped sneezing...we concentrate on HIM. AND keep going on with HIM.

YOU are SUCH a blessing!!!! I see something I NEED to see everytime I read here!