Joy

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room

Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly. This life is the kind that has a joy so deep, a joy so real, that it’s indestructible. Not that we won’t go through trials of many kinds. We will. But the abundant life is the kind of life that can smile in the midst of trouble and sickness and sorrow. Not a forced smile. A genuine one.

It’s the kind of life that can see beyond the here and now because the abundant life Jesus promises is the kind of life that knows this isn’t the end. There is more to come. A lot more. Eternity.

But for many the tension of preparing for Christmas Day increases as the day draws near. We dash here and there, from party to gathering to special programs, decorating and gift wrapping and candy making, menu planning and extra grocery shopping. 

And we wonder about the joy because we don’t feel it.

We’ve rushed here and there to do the wrong kind of preparing.

This joy isn’t found in a perfectly decorated home or an extravagantly prepared meal or the amount of money spent on the gifts we’re giving or receiving. It isn’t found in all the parties and events and Christmas bonuses.

It’s found in Jesus.

Those other things are just a foretaste of the real kind of joy. The abundant life Jesus came to give us.

We only have to make room in our hearts for him.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.                           John 10:10 (ESV)

Part of the Weekly Photo Challenge

Enjoying the Season?

imageI’m better at enjoying the season than I was three years ago. In another three I’ll be even better. I’ve learned to be still, be present, and more than anything…..be thankful.

Thank you, Jesus.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”      Psalm 46:10

I did what I said I wouldn’t do.  Last night I wasn’t enjoying the season.  I became annoyed with the clock.  It wouldn’t stop.  I needed more time to do the things that needed to be done.  Finally I realized that I was running out of time and was compelled to do the most pressing things.

I was an hour and a half late getting home because I had to make a large grocery store run to prepare for our get-together this weekend.  I did some stocking stuffer shopping, too.  I enjoyed the time in the store as I hummed along with the Christmas music in the background.

Once home, though, everything I needed to do flooded my mind and I slowly started to unravel.  My patience was missing and my family felt the impact of it.  In the midst of simplifying fractions, washing towels, looking for a Spanish II…

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