I thought I was doing so well. Decorations were finished the first weekend in December. I had resigned myself to not baking cookies, because there are only three of us and what’s the point of making all kinds of cookies when we feel guilty eating them? Thoughtful gifts had been determined for each family member and the total fell well under the proposed budget. The two final gifts needing to be purchased can easily be purchased tomorrow. All gifts in hand are beautifully wrapped and strategically placed under the Christmas tree by an interior decorator. (It’s great to be related to an interior decorator.)
Over the course of three weeks one hundred and fifty-five Christmas cards were personally signed and a prayer said for each friend and relative as the envelope was sealed. A Christmas Carol was read (for the first time) and I was ready for book club. Two hours were spent one Sunday afternoon singing the Messiah with the Morton Community Choir. Beautiful snowfall had blanketed the yard, the fields, and the town during the past few weeks.
To top it all off a trip to the dentist yielded good news and a compliment. The dentist commented “You must be all ready for Christmas. There’s a calmness about you I don’t normally see.” Wow.
And then came Saturday.
At 3:30 am I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep despite the fact I was very tired. My mind kept dwelling on my 2011 budget. How I could pay extra and be diligent? How can I make some needed house repairs? How much will I need for wedding travel? Finally I slept till the alarm sounded. Long past due for an oil change and tire rotation I had an appointment at Neal Tire. Along with the needed maintenance, I asked for an estimate to repair a power steering fluid leak. Too many numbers to the left of the decimal point! I left feeling a bit discouraged.
I drove to Eureka to pick up a gift for my niece. Shopping done I was anxious to get home and take a much needed nap. Then I saw it. The back tire was flat. It couldn’t be any flatter! I stood there staring at the tire and felt the air seeping out of me as well. All the contentment, all the joy of Christmas was gone. I was as deflated as the tire. I called my brother who came and changed the tire. I made it home, but felt weary.
There is a direct cause and effect line between circumstances and feelings. With one giant pull circumstances succeeded in toppling my feelings to the floor where I was content to let them be. Whining and pity – can you believe that half the lights went out on my mantel so now I have to do that all over again? Why bother? The rest will probably go out when I finish replacing the others. What’s next to ruin my Christmas? They say that when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade. But, what if you don’t want lemonade? What if you want eggnog? What good are lemons this time of year anyway?
Nothing changed except God started reminding me of where He was through all of these circumstances. Have I ever failed to provide for you when you needed something? no
When you called Loran to ask him to help change the tire, where was he? on his way home from Chenoa about 15 minutes away
What did Kate say when you whined to her about the lights on the mantel? that she’d fix them for me
When your circumstances change, do I? no, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever
And so, meditating on the promises and faithfulness of God, He picked me up, dusted me off, and filled me with joy and contentment. May your joy be in Him and not in your circumstances this Christmas season and through all of the new year. Merry Christmas!
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles; They will run and not get tired; They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31