Saturday, December 20, 2008

Comfort and Joy and Promises... Advent of Joy #20

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:8-9

Oh I read these verses today and just didn’t know. I wasn’t sure where that inexpressible joy was, but I didn’t feel it. At all. I mean I know I can believe Him and trust Him to have my best at heart. But last night I went to bed mad. Frustrated with some circumstances in my life that really had me upset.

One of the things is that I get so frustrated the last few days before Christmas. For once, one year, I would love to enter into the last few days before Christmas, and be able to actually relax and enjoy the season and the anticipation. I want to be able to show my kids the real reason we are celebrating. I want to be able to enter into mine and my son’s birthday (tomorrow) and relax and enjoy the celebration. Instead, today again I am stressed out and frustrated and wondering how in the world we are going to be ready in time to head to my parents on Christmas Eve.

Juggling my husband’s work schedule around family celebrations is so hard. We have no idea from year to year how we are going to meet both of our families requests to be together.
All these little things just added up… and I managed to forget about joy… and His comfort.
I have not seen Jesus physically… and though my love for Him didn’t disappear, I sure haven’t been feeling it. And I though I know that He will bless and give good gifts, in my heart I wasn’t believing it.

But this morning I was reminded that the true gift I have been given isn’t anything physical. It isn’t anything that my husband or kids or family can do for me. The true gift of Christmas is the goal of my faith, the salvation of my soul. That fills me with inexpressible joy. I may not always “feel” that joy. But it really is there.

“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant”
Psalm 119:76

Again He comforts me.

Comfort and joy instead of sorrow and frustration and anger.
That is His promise.

He surprised me this morning with an opportunity to get away and get some last minute shopping done. With an early birthday present from my mother-in-law of a gift card to a store that has a 50 % off sale on everything in their store. A blessing for me to get some of the things that I have wanted and needed.

Last night I was so out of sorts that I just wasn’t finding joy in anything. My body is fighting off a cold and I know that my stress level isn’t helping that any. I was to the point of not liking a Birthday present from God Himself.

You might ask what that was?
Even Dave commented that this was the first time he had seen this in me.


I know. It seems so simple and silly…. and crazy to some of you who don’t like it.
But as soon as I see snowflakes, I get excited. I want to get out and drive in it. I want to go out and shovel and play in it. Seriously.

And last night when I saw that we were going to get more snow tonight, and tomorrow. I didn’t get excited. That’s when I knew I wasn’t drawing any joy from anything. I just went to bed. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t read. I cried myself to sleep, and had a horrible attitude.

Psalm 42:5 and 8 say:
“Why are you so downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
“By day the Lord directs His love,
at night His song is with me -
A prayer to the God of my life.”

He was sure doing a lot of singing over me last night. Because this morning I woke with a new attitude. I still feel like I am battling a cold, but I am looking forward to the snow. I am looking forward to celebrating my birthday with my son.

My God promises to give me comfort and joy… His unfailing love is my comfort… He delights to bring me joy, even in the small things…

My God keeps His promises…

of provision,
of comfort,
of joy,

of His presence with me all the time.

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