I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for - but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, truly blessed.
Obviously, I have no idea who wrote that little diddy up there. It's in the very back of a book I read over the summer and came to mind this morning. You see, I've been going through some personal growing pains and a lot of that poem reminds me of me lately. We won't go into a lot of detail...but, I have so far to grow.
Sunday our pastor gave a great message in our new series, "Jesus Messiah" that has stuck on my mind the last few days. And while I furiously scribbled away notes I really only remember one main thought - sometimes, during this Christmas season, rather then feeling the joy and love of the celebration of Christ...this time of the year brings people down. And one of the reasons is because we can easily worship a little baby in a manger, but we have a hard time worshipping a baby that came to DIE for our sins. We can't picture a baby that was sent to die. Although we should... another on the opposite end... we just don't get what Christmas REALLY is. We get so caught up in the gift giving (and getting), rushing for last minute sales, hours in the kitchen preparing meals, traveling long distances with whiny kids, snow, ice, bad roads... busy malls, annoying people in return lanes at stores, a list of people to buy for without the money to buy... etc. So instead of taking 25 days to solely focus on the birth of our Savior, the one who came to save us - we are distracted by everything else. Get's us down. Get's me down. I can't even tell you how many times just in the last few days that I've found myself on the verge of tears over nothing more then holiday stress. And, that's even AFTER purposing in my heart to really focus this year on TRUTH. My hubby is doing a great series with our teens, "Christmas Conspiracy", talking about the truth of how Satan is doing all he can do distract us from what Christmas really is...making it about us, about getting, about Santa and anything else he can to take away from Christ. Revelation goes into the story of the dragon and the woman in labor - the dragon representing Satan. Check out the story for a vivid picture of satan's attempts to kill our Jesus. Hint: he failed! And now makes every attempt to distract us... Good stuff. (Romans 12) Here's a link to some of the verses we covered... (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2012&version=ESV)
Anyway, wow, I sound like a downer. I'm really not. I'm so thankful for this time of year and for so many reasons. I'm especially thankful that the Holy Spirit can translate my unspoken prayers and knows my heart... when I'm down or longing or whatever. I am truly blessed, WE are truly blessed. Today I want to re-purpose (this really is a daily thing for me) to focus on my Jesus. The one who came in human form in humility, born in a filthy cattle stall to a teen girl named Mary. Making Himself low... in obedience to the Father for MY good.
I'm a jumble of thoughts today and my brain was working faster then my fingers...
If you are interested in hearing Pastor Nemmers message from this past Sunday you can go to www.saylorvillebaptist.com and click on the link for , "Spitten Image". It's worth your time!