Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Part 1 of 2. Expectations vs True Needs

Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.

This sounds a lot like 

Job 13:15New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 “Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless I will argue my ways [a]before Him.

I know this is not a typical Christmas Eve type of post, it will be in 2 parts, today and the 26th. Yet given the state of our nation, what we see in consumerism all around us, and in the media urging us to buy this or that, stand in lines for hours, or fight with others to obtain a treasure we believe we cannot live without, it does seem timely.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating, giving gifts, or enjoying the season. It seems though as Christians, we may have lost our focus a bit. I am all about grace and freedom in Christ, but I find it hard to understand what passes for devotion at this most blessed time of year. Folks, if He had not given the ultimate gift, where would we be? What possible hope for the future could we have? It would make sense then to indulge and run around trying to fill ourselves up externally if this life was all there was. It may be my age, or life experiences, yet I believe we only give a perfunctory glance at the Manger in our lives. 

What if our lives our not working out? We thought we would be in a better place by now? What if there is divorce, unemployment, loss, pain and suffering? Are we to give up and conclude God has abandoned us or despair and assume He is only a myth? 

Friends I know what all of these feel like. Life can be hard, the  pain all too real, yet we are not alone, God made sure of that. So as the above verses say, we of course feel the pain and loss, we struggle and process, it's ok to feel it all, yet we must, by faith agree with the writers and praise Him, trust when we cannot see, and cling tightly to His hand because He never let's go and He sees us and loves us.

So of course give gifts and enjoy the celebration of life, after  all it is His birthday. Be ready to share this most precious and costly gift with your family and friends. We have been given so much and so we give much. 

God came to Earth as a helpless baby, born of NO station, and lived his life among us so that He might know us intimately, and show us the way, and give us the best hope ever.  Check out One Passion, One Devotion by Kim Walker Smith from Jesus Culture, it will bless you.

Merry and Blessed Christmas,  🎄

Cheryl Laurenza, LPC, LCMHC
For more information on aloneness in marriage or otherwise, check out Center For Relational Care out of Austin, TX or contact me via email.

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