How do I view my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly? Through my own lens, which is influenced by the world and all of the negativity it holds… or through the eyes and heart of our Savior?
This year, I am struggling with that joy and anticipation of the holidays. Our family is fractured right now, and that clouds the lens through which I am looking. I’ve put up the Christmas decorations because that is what one does after the turkey leftovers are put away.
Out come the snowmen, stockings, lighted wreath, candles, and enough ornaments to decorate a small table top tree in the corner…all done because that is what one does this time of year.
This morning, I’m reminded of what it’s really all about…Him. Atop my mantle sits the simple figurines that tell The Story… the story that keeps the miracle of Christmas in the forefront of my life. It’s a reminder every morning as I emerge from the bedroom to begin the day.
A simple young woman; chosen to carry the Son of God into this world. A virgin. Slated to marry a carpenter. NOT the baby’s father. And I thought I had some struggles right now. That innocent young woman remained obedient and steadfast, even when it seemed impossible and there was much unknown. And then there was her fiance. He could have turned around and left the room, but he chose to stay. If that isn’t the ultimate act of extending grace…
Sometimes I think about leaving my nativity up year round so I can be reminded daily of the miracle and gift of Jesus in my life. Then I come to realize that my fallible self would probably stop noticing it.
The miracle of that baby in the stable needs to be present in every breath I take. The wonders of His love are all around me. I just can’t let the stuff of the world cloud my vision and diminish my hope.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Phil 4: 8-9 (MSG)