Recently a bug bit my Facebook and I’ve been unable to view my “Memories” for a few weeks. Usually able to figure out these types of small annoyances, I began the normal protocol of checking my settings, sending a help message to the FB fix-it desk, deleting and re-installing the app, asking my adult children, and just generally waiting around for time to pass and the world to shake itself loose and all to become right again.
It didn’t. It has not. I am still being deprived of my memories. And I am still annoyed.
Sort of like 2019 has been. There. I said it. It’s not a negativity thing. It’s just a thing. When the clock strikes midnight tonight I will not be sad to see the year go away and I will say something witty and southern and relatively clean like, “Hope the screen door doesn’t hit you in the BE-hind on your way out.” Some days/weeks/months/years are just like that.
And that’s okay.
If we wait long enough for time to pass, the world will shake itself loose and become right again. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I have always been an aficionado of the “We can wait this out” mode of thinking, but over the years I have fashioned that thought process into something akin to, “If this never changes we will still be all right.” Won’t we?
Are you getting the idea that our family might be going through some stuff? Yep. Just like a lot of families do. Maybe similar to what you might be experiencing. Or even if it’s not, it makes me empathetic and sympathetic and willing to come alongside you wholeheartedly as we . . .
Fight the good fight of the faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called
when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12.
We’ve just finished a beautiful and deeply meaningful Christmas season. Dollars to doughnuts (what does that even mean?) you heard mention of the Three Wise Men and their gifts to the Baby Jesus. While we don’t need to get into the fact that their visit to Jesus probably took place about two years after His birth and that there were undoubtedly more than three kings, let’s do acknowledge that they did indeed bring Him gifts. Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh. We can hang onto that at least! Ha.
Whether knowingly or not, as Christians we too daily present Jesus with our own gifts, laying at His feet our offerings/burdens of whatever we have that day–good, bad, or indifferent. There’s a little old story originally published in Guideposts Magazine called, “Gold, Circumstance and Mud” that pretty much sums up what many of our days may look like. (If you’d like to read it, it’s available on the internet and is authored by Rex Knowles.)
Circumstances are often beyond our control. Not always, but often. And the “mud” they can land us in is incredibly messy, sticky, and contains who-knows-what down in its murky depths. In the mud we are our most humble, perhaps our most humiliated, selves. It’s not easy to see or move or keep perspective in a big ol’ pile of mud. And it’s in the mud pit that we can choose to fight or succumb. And it’s also there that His Word can ring true in your heart as you recall:
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:2-5 NIV
He “redeems” from the “pit.” No matter the mess. No matter the depth.
And these pesky life glitches that fly in our faces can be overcome also.
Oh ha! Listen to this. For a few years I was an employee of a large financial investment corporation and worked in some local offices here in town. (No snickering; I’m teachable.) As is the case in any massive multi-branch operation, there were many “opportunities” (translated “wide-eyed moments of panic”) to contact the home office IT department regarding glitches in the computer software or hardware. Oftentimes a pleasant recorded voice on the other end of the line would “thank you for your patience” and let you know that you were not only “important” but were “38th in line” or some other comforting number and when you waited your allotted eternity, the live voice would assure you that there was a “known issue with no ETA.” Neato. Now what?
Friend, whether you find yourself right side up or upside down, in the mud or out, maybe experiencing some sort of glitch in your life with no known ETA, it is my prayer for you that your New Year be one of great joy, great growth, and bountiful love. All those things are possible even in the mud. Even with a glitch.
Let me finish by pledging to you that I will continue to:
- Love and serve Christ
- Love and serve my husband and family
- Love and serve my church
- Open my heart and home to friends, neighbors, and strangers
- Listen wholeheartedly and maintain my “dead end road” policy of confidentiality
And a new few this year:
- Discern more wisely
- React more slowly
- Wear hope on my sleeve
- Laugh oftener
Much love and Happy 2020,
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB