Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Past...Christmas Present and Future.....

  That picture was taken last Christmas.  It was probably one of the darkest times of my life.  We didn't know what was going to happen with Katie.  We didn't know what her prognosis was going to be.  I thought to myself Christmas will never be the same.  At the time it was stated with all the drama this sanguine could muster up in her melancholy state of mind.

I was right.  I will never look at any Christmas that way again.  God is so good, to let us see up from the bottom of the pit.  I pulled out those Christmas ornaments I bought last year and gave them to our children to hang on the tree.  I wondered what would come to mind when I gave them out.  I wanted them to know that God brought hope to me, when I bought them.  Buying those silly little sparkly ornaments brought me hope for this year.  Hope that Katie would still be with  us.  Hope that we would again smile and laugh at the funny things of our life together.  We did. 

I was able to share with everyone my own fallen state of mind and how real God became to me when I bought the ornaments.  I was able to share that God knows our names, and He knows our times.  He knows our comings and our goings and nothing we can do can change that.  What peace and joy swept over me as I shared the ornaments with my bunch.  They snatched their ornaments and began choosing the right spot on our very junky ornament laden tree. 

Life is good, even if our doctor sent us to the hospital  last week to again have many tests run.  It's good, even if her numbers are crazy high...or crazy low.  Christmas this year is full of hope.  I've wrapped my packages, decorated our home and now it's on to making a few goodies and planning our Christmas Eve dinner.  The Lord has wrapped my heart in His care.  He will care for me, no matter what happens. 

The difference this year is that we know what we are dealing with.  We know what it can do and what we need to do if certain things happen.  That's how God's word works.  It's our guide.  It's our "help" button.  It steers us in the right direction.  It gives us strength when we are weak.  It has been my buoy this year to keep me from drowning.  The enemy so wanted to drown me in the tsunami of his evil lies, and did for a time.  But God's word brought me up out of that pit.  I can still feel so deeply all that has gone on this past year, but it's all for good.  God uses so many hard things to draw us to Him and perfect us into His image.  That's where the "American" gospel doesn't really pan out.  It's not always soft and cuddly.  Sometimes it's bone splitting hard.  But it was for Jesus too. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; stuck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to reveal Christ in everything we do. You never know, who you are ministering to in the trials of your own life.  You never know how many people you are touching that you never would have touched had you not been thrust into a place not of your choosing.

This Christmas, we are rejoicing in God's gift of Jesus.  The Jesus that reveals himself to us over and and over again.  As I have sung the wonderful Christmas songs this year, I just see such hope and such grace to have carried me along this year.  I'm so truly thankful. Part of that hope and grace has come through the Body of Christ.  I don't know what we would have done without the prayers and encouragement of our church friends and family.  They have carried us through the darkest of days and truly been the hands of Jesus to us. 

"But the gift of God is eternal life.  Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord".  That is one of the verses on one of our Awana CD's.  I sing it all the time in my heart (sometimes out loud too!).  I'm so thankful for the gift of Eternal Life.  I pray you are too.  I pray that this season truly is a Merry Christmas.  That you can call out to God  from the very depth of your being and rejoice in the "new born King...Who IS Christ The Lord!"

Merry Christmas From the Hilltop,