ROMANS 8:18-25 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
THEME OF THE DAY. POST CHRISTMAS PONDERINGS. I am writing today’s nugget late Christmas Day. All is quiet in my home. My dog lays fast asleep near the Christmas tree. He symbolizes the winding down of the Christmas season that has frazzled and exhausted many people. As for the tree, it looks different now. Oh, it is still blazing with its ornaments, many the creations of loved ones over the years, but it looks different to me. The tree has fulfilled its mission. Its task is over. It will soon be boxed away for another year. Though the tinsel is still hanging from its branches, it is losing its appeal. The season is winding down. Looking outside our bay window, I notice the vehicles that filled my neighbor’s driveways and lined the streets early this morning and into the afternoon are gone. Dinners are over. The festive activities of sharing gifts, food, and family time are ending.
Christmas. We experienced heights of joy, times of fun and happiness, but they were short-lived and fleeting. Christmas is also a time of heightened sadness. For many, this Christmas brought sorrow. There were empty chairs at dinner tables; loved ones have passed away, families separated or have grown up, no longer able to come home, and loneliness abounded throughout our communities. Those times of sorrow also reminded us of the fleeting nature of things under the sun, and the painful reality that we don’t live in the land of “happy ever after”. Christmas, from a worldly perspective, attempts to deceive and cheat us. Hallmark movies are wonderful to watch, but not real. Thomas Kinkade and Norman Rockwell paintings fill us with nostalgic feelings, and though they may give us glimpses of real experiences we’ve had at Christmas past, like all things under the sun, they don’t last or satisfy. God never intended them to do so. He never intended us to find our contentment, joy, and satisfaction in anything of the creation and certainly not the trappings of Christmas hijacked by the world. Oh, thank Him for family, friends, and great times together, but always keep those things and those people in open palms. Everything under the sun is passing. Quickly. And to seek to find our meaning and satisfaction in anything of this world is not only foolish but futile. God will not allow us to find what we were created for – joy, happiness, satisfaction, and contentment – outside of Him. Enjoy what He has richly given us – material things, family, friends, and times together, but always remember, our greatest enjoyment is in Him; Christmas in the flesh and walking close with this One who is Christmas in the flesh and said, “I have come that they might have live, and that abundantly” (John 10:10).
PRAYER: “Father, help me to see this life is not my home and that I should not expect constant comfort.”
QUOTE: “Don’t look for something in this life God never intended for His children .”