Dear Family and Friends,
Oh, the irony!
A year ago today I started chemo for Breast Cancer #2. No vomiting. Not even a hint of nausea!
This year, Christmas morning, fierce stomach flu. I hadn’t been stomach sick in six years.
Some would say I missed Christmas. And I’ve been told Christmas missed me.
Whether battling cancer or the stomach flu, I’m His.Princess.Warrior. And in His Kingdom, Christmas is every day: Every day worshipping the King, every day receiving and giving gifts, every day singing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”
And whether battling cancer or the stomach flu, Tim was with me. Not only did he stay home with me – sacrificing the fun of celebrating with our extended family – but also cleaned up my messes, attended to my cries, and sometimes just sat in the rocker in our bedroom – with his loving eye on me.
Tim often helps me know Jesus better – this Christmas I understand better the love of Emmanuel, God with us. Sacrificing. Cleaning up my mess. Keeping His loving eye on me.
That was just the appetizer post. Now on to the FEAST!
Earlier today, while waiting for Rogue 1 to start, I read Zach’s current blog post. LOVED IT!! I asked if he would be my first ever GUEST BLOGGER. It’s that good! Savor!
(who is appreciating more and more the powerful, loving presence of Jesus – with me and through me – by faith.)
After Christmas, Zach Michel – The Sowing Room
Christmas is over.
When I was younger, I had a hard time after Christmas. All this joy and fun seems to be replaced with boredom. The novelty of new things disappears in a matter of days. On Christmas day, I was excited to wake up early, but now I only want to sleep in. Why this change?
Our excitement is so attached to getting, that once we have, we feel let down. We looked forward to the moment of receiving, and we didn’t put much thought into life afterwards. In the end, we wind up asking ourselves, “Why I did want this gift in the first place?”
Unfortunately, we sometimes ask this question about the gift of Jesus Christ. We’ve all had our “spiritual high” moments, our mountaintop experiences—our Christmas mornings. Likewise, we’ve all experienced the day after Christmas, the letdown, the boredom. Excitement turns to monotony, and we lose the feeling, we lose the faith.
God doesn’t intend for us to only experience His pleasure for a moment. He doesn’t want us to only cherish His grace for a day. He wants it to last a lifetime.
After Jesus was born, some people felt let down. When would He save Israel? For many years, Jesus led an unextraordinary life. He went through all the routines and monotony that we go through. It didn’t seem like Christmas every morning. But God was up to something.
We repent and turn to Christ and receive Him. We begin to walk with Him, and it’s exciting at first. However, as time passes, we lose our fire. Some persevere, but others walk away from the faith. What can we do? How do we keep our hearts in it? How do we fan the flame?
Thankfully, we have a received a gift that doesn’t have to get boring. When we feel let down with Jesus, that’s not His fault. The problem is in our own hearts. If we had perfect vision, we could see the glory all the time, but our sin clouds it and makes us lose sight. We need a renewed a vision.
Sometimes the problem is that we see the gift as a one-time use only. We think the gift is only to wash our sins away or give us a clean slate, and it certainly does that, but there’s more to it. Receiving Jesus not only cleanses you, it also revives you. We need to remember that we are new creations, we have new life. We have been drastically transformed, and we belong to heaven. Not only that, but Jesus also commissions us. He sends us out on a mission to make Him known to the world. We have a purpose, and in this purpose, we can find fulfillment. Not only that, but Jesus empowers us. He gives us the Holy Spirit to teach us and to enable us to do the good works set before us. We have been given spiritual gifts with which we can build up the church. This changes everything.
How to rebound the day after Christmas?
Start running. Our gift is a pair of running shoes: the gospel of peace. They weren’t meant to sit in the closet. Put them on! Lace them up! Get out there and start running! Ask God to reveal His will and guide you in it, then use your gifts to build His kingdom. Each stride forward, each brick put in place is an opportunity to experience again the glory of Christmas morning. But if we never move, if we never exercise our faith, we’ll only ever feel let down.
So if that’s how you feel today, go put your shoes on, step outside your door, and start running. Listen to God’s voice, let Him direct you, and follow faithfully. Then you’ll see His glory once again.