Monday, December 20, 2010

Got the Holiday Blues?

It happens to the best of us this time of year. Yesterday, Pastor Rob shared a beautiful message on letting go of our expectations of perfection and approaching this Christmas season with a sense of expectancy. What is God up to? What is He doing?

I was reminded of one of my favorite passages: I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 NASB

The psalmist says "I would have despaired". I think this is humanity's default setting, with high expectations and past disappointments swinging the scales of our mind. Down and Up. Up and Down. Despair.

Thank God for that 6 letter word "unless". This is the kind of word that turns things around : However, But, Nevertheless. "Unless I had believed." Faith tips the scale.

The psalmist continues "....that I would see the goodness of the LORD" What would it look like for the goodness of the LORD to invade your world this December? I think, just like that first Christmas, it could be rather unexpected. Who thought the Messiah, the new King, would be born in a sheep shed? Who thought that angels would announce his arrival to the marginalized, blue-collar shepherd-type? My Christmas prayer is that we have eyes to see the unexpected arrival of his goodness in our lives this holiday season.

The older I get the more I cling to the hope of heaven, that someday of reunion, joy and resolution. But the psalmist does not cast all of his hope on heaven. He believes to see - TODAY- "in the land of the living."

So when you feel despair dragging your Christmas down, no condemnation! It's just time to reset that default. Pour a little faith onto the scale. Remember the good news of great joy was for ALL people, which includes YOU! I believe you will see his goodness TODAY!

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. Psalm 62:5 NLT

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two Are Better Than One

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiasties 4:9-10

Verse 9 is such a great word about companionship. Two are better than one when there is work to be done. Take - for example - dish duty. For one person, it's a tedious task. But for two (or more), it gets done so fast. The kitchen is clean in no time! I hate dishes left in the sink, but I so do not want to do them alone! I will walk right by and wait for an opportunity to recruit a "dryer" to go with my "washer" or an "unloader" to go with my "loader". I think this is because I grew up washing dishes after every meal. My mom didn't have one of those fancy dishwashing machines...she had three able-bodied children for that job! We rotated positions: washer, rinser, dryer and had lots of fun making beards out of AJAX bubbles. Three were certainly better than one.

Verse 10 takes companionship to a whole 'nother level! If one falls down, his friend can help him up. Things get messy when we fall. People get banged up, bruised and scraped. Wounds need careful washing and tender attention. That takes time. So, are you a friend I can count on when I fall? Will you look at me in my mess and judge me? Will you let me lay there all pitiful lookin' with no one to help me up? Or.....are you a friend who sticks closer than a brother? Will you take the time to cry with me for a while? Then help me up, brush off the dirt, get out the anti-biotic cream and tell me it's gonna be OK?

You find out who your friends are when you fall.