Do you ever have those moments when you're knee deep in a pitty-party and the Lord just serves you a huge does "get over it?" Well, I sure do and yesterday was one of those mornings.
It all started around 3:00 am when Eli called for me to come sleep with him. This is my least favorite part of parenting...EXHAUSTION!! I knew what was coming. My son is the most fitful sleeper, and even though I was quite sure he was doze back off rather quickly I also knew I would not. I knew that he would toss and turn, grind his teeth, and talk out loud. I braced myself for the exhausting hour and half that was about to unfold before my alarm sounded. As I did so, I let me Satan creep into my mind.
So there I lay at 3:00 am mad at the world that I have to work Christmas Eve, mad at the way things have been stacked against my favor in the office lately, and mad at myself of even thinking about this when I should be sleeping. So, I said a quick prayer acknowledging my shortcomings and asking for the Lord to intervene...and he did.
As I suspected, rest was elusive but it did come. When my alarm rang I was tired but barely recalled my earlier pitty-party...that is until my drive into the office. I use this time every morning to pray, and as I did so I laid my frustrations before the Lord. I love that he tells us to "cast our burdens" on him, but what I sometimes don't love is the attitude adjustment that follows. As I was casting my burdens (aka complaining) the Holy Spirit stirred in my heart forcing me to ask myself these questions:
Who am I worry and groan about sending Christmas cards, buying teacher gifts, finding Angel Tree items, and planning a holiday menu when this season isn't about depicting a Hallmark Card or recreating a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting, but rather celebrating the humble birth of a King?
Who am I to complain about working a holiday when there are 27 families in Connecticut alone who will have empty chairs around the holiday table?
Who I am to toil over what I perceive to be unfair practices at work when there are thousands still without jobs due to a collapsed economy?
Who am I? Really, who do I think I am to act with such arrogance and pride?
I quickly simmered down, thanking the Lord for this fresh perspective. Next I turned on the radio only to hear a song about a soldier away from his family this holiday....and there you have it again...another dose of humility.
I don't want you think it stopped there, this little lesson. No. With my heart in a much better place I got on Facebook after the morning show and saw a shared video I had been seeing floating around. I clicked on it and watched with tears streaming down my face as a flashmob brought shoppers to their knees in praise for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
You see, it was less than a week ago that I wept uncontrollably for a nation in turmoil. It was less than a week ago that I wept for the mothers and fathers who would be forever scared by the premature death of their babies. It was less than a week ago that I wept for the evil that lurks in our country. But today I wept for glimmer of hope I saw in a shopping mall as Christmas carols turned to songs of praise and as a crowd literally bowed before a King. I wept because I knew that that baby who came so long ago is alive and ready to come again. I wept because I knew that there will be a day when that Savior wipes every tear from our eyes. I wept because I knew that what we need this holiday season isn't a tree crammed with presents, or the perfect Christmas card or even a family dinner - what we need is a merciful Savior who is coming to heal a thirsty and dry land.
I wept because I knew that there was so little I could do to fix the bitter wailing in this land, yet I wept because I knew I could the most important thing of all...pray. I wept, because from memory I recalled this promise, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
So, my day was full of much need attitude adjustments but more importantly, it was filled with the overwhelming conviction to pray for this land. In about a week I will sit down and write a list of resolutions for the new year. I'm sure it will include things like losing the baby weight, eating better, keeping track of our money ect. But on top of all of that will be more than a resolution-it will be a deep conviction and commitment to pray for our nation, our leaders, our teachers, our preachers, and our people. I'll write more later on that. However, until then may we serve our Lord this Thursday with the joy of knowing that while we celebrate our Savior's first coming this holiday season we have the blessed assurance of his second coming to take us to a land where there will be more more tears.
I can't think of a better gift!!