It’s the gift giving season! Lights, shopping, laughter, food, and some stress as well all go into the season.
We always remind ourselves of the reason for the season, to slow down and give thanks. We remind ourselves that we give gifts to others to celebrate the precious gift given to us. But are we really using the gift for what it was made to do?
A baby born to die a torturous death for one reason and one reason only, and that is to pay the price, for our sins and restore us to the Father.
Thinking back on the birth of my first born son, I remember the feeling of awe over that new life in my arms. The immediate love that was so overwhelming in that moment. Love that was unmerited. My new baby had never done anything to earn my love. He never took out the trash, won an award, never looked at the camera while on the football field and said, “HI MOM”. He never even said, “I love you.”
Yet in the quiet of the night while I held my son for the first time, I knew that I was willing to lay my life down for this child. I knew I would do anything I needed to do to provide the best life possible.
Now thinking about what God provided with Christ. How could He give his Son to save us? I would lay down my life for my children, but I would never in my right mind, give my child to die for someone else.
To give my perfect child, to save a bunch in people who are covered in sin and don’t even know who God is? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NO WAY!
Yet the author of love in His unsearchable wisdom, decided that giving His Son to die for us was the right thing to do, and in His Son, He placed a passion for all of us. A passion that did whatever it took to bring us back.
To bring back a people who could not take out their own trash, nor had ever given Him any glory, or ever said, “I love you”. Yet He loved us first.
This month we celebrate the birth of a child whose blood would be spilled to cover our sins.
This month, I am going to allow the gift given to do what it was meant to do. Cover my sins. I am not going to insult God by saying His gift was not good enough to save me. I am accepting Him as forgiveness for my sins, and then I’m to agree with what He has done, and forgive myself.
For me that is the most difficult thing to do. But to not forgive myself, is to say that the gift was inferior, or not good enough. It would be an insult to the one who loves me, even more than I love myself.
As we give gifts to others this year, let us begin by giving ourselves a gift as well, and live life covered in His blood, forgiving others as we have been forgiven. Let us begin to forgive, by forgiving our self.
We may have to walk through the consequences of our actions, but to accept His gift, we can walk through with confidence and joy that only comes from the Father.
“Oh my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my
mouth. I will open my mouth in
Parables, I will utter hidden things, things from old- what
we have heard and known, what our
fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their
children; we will tell the next generation the
praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the
wonders he has done.” Psalm 78: 1-4
Have you ever gotten up in the morning and thought, ” That’s it, I’m finished.” I did this morning, but not as you might think. There has been a person that I have been at odds with for years. Someone that I have never invited to any occasion at my house, though they have shown up anyway. If I told you the story you would probably agree with me. But that story is not mine to tell. This is not a dangerous person, just one who loves to get a good stink going among people. There was a time that if I could have burned the welcome mat and boarded up the whole house I would have just to keep this person out. Great Christian attitude, right?
But I woke up this morning knowing that I was finished. “Stick a fork in me I’m done!”, crossed my mind. I am finished being angry, finished being passive aggressive, finished not inviting. If a boundary needs to be set I know I can say it with firm gentleness.
There is no explanation for my change as far as I can tell. I have not gone on an anti-anxiety drug, or anti-depressant, or anti-personwhodrivemenuts pill. There is no nice pill or drink in my cabinets. The person has not really changed, at least I don’t think they have. I really have not had a conversation in years.
The only thing I can contribute it to is prayer. For the past year my prayers have changed. Instead of praying that God would remove my enemy, I have prayed for Him to bless them. Prayed for safety, closer walk with the Lord ( or salvation if it is not there), prayed for their relationships and home.
One of my daughters, when she was little, would always carry a blanket with her. She would love it when we chased her, pretending to be monsters that were coming to get her. Laughing and running from room to room. But when we got too close, or she felt like she could not escape, she would sit on the floor, throw her blanket over head, stick her thumb in her mouth and say, “woo cont wee me!”. Translation-“You can’t see me!”
That is what I have been doing all these years. Hiding away instead of standing up with loving words and loving boundries, and inviting this person into the love. They may never change, but God has changed me.
This year, instead of closing my eyes and hoping they go away or burning the welcome mat, I am inviting this person in. I am not telling you this to pat myself on the back. It is really shameful that I have not extended an invitation before now.
All of us have people in our lives that we don’t want to deal with. During this time of Thankfulness, let us show by example, the love of Christ to those who are lost, hurting or just plain obnoxious. Whether they ever change or not, let us be changed by the renewing of our minds in Christ. Let us try to have the mind of Christ and allow Him to rule especially during this season of Thankfulness.
Here are some ways to try and get through as a daughter of the King:
“I will life up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.” Psalms 121: 1,2,7
“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” 1 Peter 3:14-15
Blessings to you and yours next week during Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you as a reader, and many of you as an unseen friend. Now we know each other through blogs, but one day we will tell stories, face to face.
Won’t you join us?
So here is my five short, bold, beautiful minutes using the word “unexpected” that was suggested.
Unexpected the way I love these grandchildren.
Unexpected the joy that comes even when he is disobedient and crawls onto the table to cram a large cookie into his mouth before we can take it away from him.
Those eyes, looking back at me are of the generation before. What will they see? What will they show? Will it be exciting, or serious?
Unexpected how fast the years pass, and one generation becomes the nesxt. Heard someone say that grandchildnren were your reward for not killing your childrne.
They are great treasures!
Unexpected to see myself growing older. I look at my hands and see my grandmother’s hands. The wrinkles are beginning and I don’t like that. But i remember her wrinkles as soft and fun to move around. Like my mothers hands are now, like mine are becomeing. Like these little ones will be one day, God willing.
Unexpected tears thinking of the five generations, my grandmother to my grandchild.
Unexpected joy this morning thinking about family; Expected and intentional prayer of thankfulness being given.