No Gift?

I’ve been feeling a bit blue this Christmas. Financially things are worse than ever. My marriage isn’t good and I’m just feeling depressed about the fact that my difficult challenges in my marriage, are unlikely to change any time soon.

I also know that while there are gifts under the tree for my kids, and even something for my husband, there is nothing for me. Nada. And as I didn’t get anything for my birthday or anniversary from my husband, I doubt there will be anything under the tree with my name on it.

Waaah. Big baby, aren’t I?  I love to give gifts and yes, I do enjoy receiving at least SOME token that someone thought of me. Not to be. So kick me in the behind for having a pity party.

Because this isn’t my birthday anyway. This is the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.  A holy day set aside to remember that the Creator of the Universe deigned to come down in human flesh and endure life on this planet, to safe ungrateful, rude, sinful, selfish, human beings.

Like me.

So instead of moaning about what I won’t get for Christmas, or that I couldn’t enjoy buying and wrapping gifts for people who have blessed me this year. . . I need to think differently. What instead do I have to offer the God who has sacrificially suffered, died and then rose again, simply to have a relationship with me?

My heart is really all I have. I can do a million things for Jesus but not have them mean anything if my heart is not fully devoted to Him.

How do I do that? By spending time with Him. By giving Him all of who I am, my thoughts, my dreams, my desires. Laying that at His feet to do with as He wills. He is my sovereign King.

So this Christmas, I will not be sleeping in. I will be spending time in the quiet, in the solitude, to simply be. Be with the One who loves me more than any human on earth.

And in so doing, I will find my greatest treasure and joy.

Blessings,

LGB

Advertisements

The Iridescence of Pain

I apologize that I haven’t written for a little while as I’ve been working on my book!  I am taking today off because I wanted you to have some encouragement now – while we wait for other events to transpire.

I was thinking about pearls today.  Did you know that a natural pearl starts from a microscopic irritation or parasite that invades a mollusk?  Yup. The offending item gets surrounded as a way to protect the clam and as layer after layer forms to isolate the irritation, something beautiful and precious emerges.

In James 1, after some talk about the benefit of persevering under trials (and counting as joy?), a few verses later says this:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (Jas 1:17 HCSB)

Trials and irritations in our life can either destroy us; resulting in bitterness, anger, wrath and other not so nice attributes, or they can create in us character that shines for the glory of God.  Peace, joy, faithfulness. . . a gift.

A pearl starts with a minor irritation.  Maybe you have a major one in your life; a spouse that’s challenging, or a kid that has special needs, or a chronic health issue or pain. It’s up to you to decide whether you will take the irritant that you cannot expel (clams are unable to simply kick the irritant out of their shell), and let it fester or allow it to grow wonderful things in your heart.

Godly character cannot be manufactured.  Pearls can be grown and ‘cultured” – but they do not compare in the quality and priceless value of one that begins wild, organic, in the ocean starting with an irritant.  We can fake it if we want, but when compared to true character, we will pale in comparison to someone who has allowed trials to mold and polish them in the image of Christ.

I want to shine. I want to shimmer and reflect God’s goodness and love to me that covers all those yucky irritations in my life. Heck, I should have a glorious string of pearls at this point in my life!  Maybe they will be part of the crown Jesus gives me when I meet Him in the heavenlies!

I’m praying that today you recognize the beauty that comes as you persevere through trials so you can have an incomparable iridescence as the priceless treasure that you are to our King!

Blessings!
LGB