Tuesday, November 30, 2010

LIFE in Christmas Pt. 1: Holiday Nourishment for our Spirits

NO! No, no, no! Or the ever-popular, drawn out with tears nnnnnnooooo! All too regular responses from our precious 2-year-old, Alice. What about in your house? Isn’t it interesting how easy our little ones can say “No,” and how difficult it can be for us big people?

It can come from many places, friend. For some of us, the adults in our lives modeled burn-out, and we feel intense pressure to follow suit…maybe even from them. For others, we struggle with jealousy and comparison, and are plagued with fighting to keep up with some “super-woman” perception…You know her... the one can do it all, in heels, without a single bead of sweat on her brow. (She doesn't exist, btw) For many of us, there may just be a lot of things we enjoy, find pleasure doing, so we have a hard time using the word, “No,” in a sentence.

Among one of the many things I love about my Jesus is His intense, intimate relationship with His Father…Our very same Father. He was all about the Father’s business. Check out John 4:34, “…My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” Wow. His very nourishment! I am so struck by that, are you? Take a moment and breathe that truth in, dear ones!

So, if we are called to imitate Christ (1 Corin. 11:1), and if Jesus is telling us the truth about Himself, then we get to be nourished just by doing the will of God by finishing His work?! That’s what He said, so I’d like to believe so.

What in the world does this have to do with the Holidays?

Glad you asked. As a participant of various dress-up eateries, keeper of the cheek book and shopper of the Christmas gifts, (did I mention regular life demands?) we have a unique opportunity to be nourished this Christmas season. That’s right, nourished. Not drained, strained and spit out only to recover sometime mid-January…nourished.

If we imitate Our Savior (you know, the one who came in mere humanity at Christmas, fully God, the One who all this is for anyhow), as Paul tells us, and live as Jesus lived…being in the Father’s will, finishing His work…we will receive His very nourishment.

So we pray. In all occasions, in the Spirit, through the power of the Spirit (the very One who raised our Lord, available to you and me!), as we plan our budget, our schedules, while at Target, at Sam’s, at Aldi (just to name a few of my hot spots). Lord, help us with our calendars! Help us know where to spend, and where to say, “No”. Show us where to volunteer with Your joy. Show us where we are over-committing out of performance for others and pleasing man and are out of Your will!

Holy Spirit, Show us if there is any Holiday offense in us, and lead us to the way everlasting!            (Ps. 139:24)

Friends, if we are about the Father’s business, there will be nourishment. I have to believe we will not overspend, we will not be over-tired! I have seen Him provide miracle sales, open up time where gatherings looked impossible when I stop and listen for that still, small voice. (I've also seem my self worn to a nub when I hear Him say "No" and proceed anyhow. Are you like me?)

Let’s pray for each other...and joyfully expect miracles and refreshment, because we are about the Father's business this Holiday season.

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