12/29/12

morning promises

My alarm woke me up this morning to Will Reagan & United Pursuit. I am naturally a morning person, so smiling when I wake up is not unusual for me. My first thought is usually, "I LOVE MORNING!" (Not an exaggeration.) But my first thought this morning was a little different.

One of my favorite promises that God has been fulfilling in my life recently is that He is all I need.

Sometimes I start to look at who's getting married, who's having kids, who's making more money than I am, who's driving a better car than I am, who has family living near to them, etc. And I wonder at God, "Why haven't You blessed me with all of these things?" And I feel discouraged and discontented and a little sad, like maybe there's something wrong with me or that I'm not as "treasured" or "valued" or "deserving" as someone else.

And once I've thought these thoughts, I've taken my eyes off Jesus.

Because here's the thing about Jesus: He gives.

I'm not talking about the Pollyanna "glad game" where you make a list of all the blessings you have been given (which is a very good thing to do).

I am talking about finding everything and all in the One whose love and grace goes deeper and fuller than any person or thing ever could.

He gives us Himself.

There are a lot of things I want, and a lot of things I don't understand why I don't have. But here is where that Will Reagan & United Pursuit song comes in:

I take all those things that tell me I am incomplete, that tell me I am not where I could be or should be, that tell me there's more that I could have, and lay them at Jesus' feet and pray,

If I give it all to You, will You make it all new?

Because He does. He has. He continues to take what I give Him and make it into something I would not have designed for myself. Sometimes that means giving Him something I really want and telling Him that I trust that whatever He gives will be better.

And it is.

Because when He gives you Himself, it is far better assurance that you are treasured and valued than if He were to give you every blessing on earth.

I do not comfort myself in my "losses" but counting all the blessings He has given me. I allow Him to comfort me and show me that there is no loss when I find everything I need in Him.
"The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy." - Psalm 11:7

12/24/12

Heavenly Peace

So here I sit on Christmas Eve morning, just me and my peppermint candle and my coffee and a kitten who hasn't recovered yet from stepping in my coffee.

I've been awake for hours, struggling against feeling nervous about tonight's Christmas Eve services, struggling against feeling homesick for my family 500 miles away, struggling against feeling anxious about all the things that will be left undone until after Christmas.

When our worship team went caroling at a nursing home last week, one of the residents requested "Silent Night." My grandpa loved that song. I would sit on the edge of his musty bedspread and listen as he picked out the melody on his guitar. I still smell his room whenever I hear that song.

I love these words:

With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth

There's a song by Sojourn that says that man can praise God more than the angels can. And that redeeming grace is why: Jesus came with redeeming grace, and we've been redeemed. Heavenly hosts sing "Hallelujah," and we, even more than the heavenly hosts, have reason to sing.

I don't know if it's "Silent Night," but I know my grandpa has been singing praises at Jesus' feet for the past 4 years. And I love when we sing on earth just as earnestly as those who are in the very presence of the One who redeemed us.

Praying you will be filled with heavenly peace at the reality of the presence of God through the birth of Jesus. Merry Christmas.