I stumbled downstairs last Sunday and with sleepy eyes poured myself a cup of coffee. At the moment, I definitely did not feel excitement. I was tired and wouldn’t have minded crawling right back into bed. And then it hit me. Today was my anniversary, and immediately I thought about Charisse 35 years ago on this day. The barely 20 year old who couldn’t sleep. The young girl who couldn’t wait for this day and the beginning of a life full of beautiful. The thankfulness her heart felt toward God for blessing her with everything this day held.
Yet here I was, 35 years later muttering about how tired I was. Wishing for bed instead of worship.
Many things went wrong on the day of our wedding. A huge snow storm hit that day. The limo my parents ordered to drive us to the wedding never showed up. My father in law’s cummerbund got misplaced, so at the last minute my fiancé drove in the storm to the tuxedo shop to get another. He then got hit by a car due to slippery roads. My grandparents were late due to the storm and almost didn’t make it. The snow worsened by the minute and we weren’t sure anyone would show up. None of this swayed my joy. None of this made me want to go back to bed so I didn’t have to think about all the “bad”.
All I could focus on was him, Because I loved him.
As I remembered that day, it gripped my heart. It’s the season of Christmas and yet, so many of us are focusing on the bad. The countless number of times I have heard or read that “2020 is the worst year in history” has been staggering. I can’t help but think about God and the murmuring He hears coming from those of us who are supposedly His children. Praise has not been on our lips, including my own. Thankfulness has not filled our hearts, but instead continual complaining about all we are subject to.
There is no joy.
There will always be something to complain about. We live in a sin cursed world where the wrong seems to outweigh the right. We can complain about our government or injustice or this pandemic and the rules we are asked to abide by. We can complain about not seeing family members or the fear of catching this sickness. But I would like to remind you that the good can outweigh the bad, we just haven’t been looking for it. We have been focusing on the bad so much that we have lost sight of all the incredibly good things God has blessed us with.
Lives filled with beautiful.
I would like to challenge you today to focus on Him. I have found in my own life that when I take my focus off of Him and place it on myself, I find all kinds of things to complain about. But, when I shift my focus to Him I find countless reasons to be thankful. That’s when joy floods my heart and soul.
Think back to a special day in your own life. A day that you remember that feeling of pure joy and the reasons you felt that joy. That’s a beginning. That’s the first step in telling God thank you. If we could just decide in our hearts that we are going to choose thankfulness and praise over complaining, our lives will be transformed.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of the bad. I’m sick of social media and the news and the constant “bad” that is bombarding us. I want to focus on the good. All that is good in our life is only because of God.
I want to focus on Him.
I know there are hard days. I’m not always the picture of happiness and joy. Sweet friends have gone home to heaven this year. My precious dad went home to heaven. Covid has hit our little town. Family won’t be with us to celebrate this year. Our children’s Christmas program has been canceled. Just yesterday I broke down while shopping. The memory of Christmas shopping with my dad just last year hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to hide out in the underwear section until the tears subsided. We all have bad days, but later my husband reminded me of what a precious memory that was to have. Christmas shopping with dad.
Our wedding day ended up being my fairy tale. All my dreams came true. Over 500 people came out in that storm to celebrate our union. Happiness and joy filled the church that day. A day I will never forget. Don’t ever forget when Christ filled your heart. A heart that once was dark, now filled with His light and love, joy and happiness. What if we all chose to celebrate Christ’s birth differently than the rest of the world, despite the storms we have all been facing?
Find the good. Find the thankful. Find the gladness and joy. Find the beautiful. It’s right there where you are, you’ve just been missing it. This Christmas, focus on Him.
And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:”
Psalms 105:1-5, 43 KJV
Psalms 78:22, 32, 37-39, 42, 53 KJV
© 2020 HOLDING HOPE