Outside snow is finally beginning to fall. It’s the middle of December but amazingly for most of the week it’s been warm enough to crack windows open and break out short sleeves. Not so today. Today it snows. Today I sit curled up with a hot cup of coffee, a roaring fire, a sleeping little boy and an open Bible. My Bible has not been open much these days. There are all the normal excuses. “Too busy” is my default in December. There is shopping to finish, packages to wrap, food to make, food to eat, places to go and people to see. Outside, along with the snow, there is a mad rush of people and cars coming and going. People. Everywhere people. You can almost sense a growing sound to “busy” in December.
Today though, today I have shut the busy down and out. Today I have let the excuses fall just a bit and blend in with the falling snow outside. I have decided to sit just long enough to do the most important, the most needed thing, and that is to sit at Jesus’s feet. As wonderful and incredible as this time of year can be, it can also be a lonely, desperately sad struggle. Somewhere someone is missing the smile and presence of a precious loved one. Around some corner a mom and dad are kneeling in prayer and clinging to hope as their little one fights for their next breath. Somewhere someone questions his worth enough to wish he didn’t exist. He may have tried to not exist and wonder why he still does. You see, there is the presence of both joy and pain. Life is ripe with both. As we grow we learn to count our blessings and see them as each marvelous miracle and gift that they truly are. This year has humbled me. It’s floored me. It’s brought me to me knees and is continuing to keep me there. This year has allowed me to witness the miraculous and taste the joy of answered prayers and provisions. Likewise, it has had me taste tears of deep sadness, weakness and helplessness. Watching a dad battle stage 4 cancer will do that to you, as will a host of other unexpected surprises that we have no control over, ultimately. Put simply, it hurts to watch someone you love hurt. Yet through the cold, despite the storm, God has a plan. I choose to trust in that plan and in that choice I rest and know that “all is well”.
“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
When busyness calls me to distraction I know that I must take moments to stop and feed the soul. Stop and sit at God’s feet, linger, and take Him in, breath Him in. It’s absolute necessity to take the hand He extends and cling to it with all I have because without it walking the tightrope of life successfully is out of the question. The storm may continue to rage but it does not have to absorb me, not if I anchor my eyes steadfastly on Christ who holds all things together, including little ole’ me. Christ alone strengthens the weak, gives wisdom when it is lacking, and hope when circumstances say there is none. Christ is in everything as well as IS everything. God is is good all the time and all the time God is good. For me those are not just glib words or personal pep-talks. It’s lived in, breathed-in, walked-in truth. It is the essence of everything I am and everything I will be. It is everything I have to give and everything that has been given to me. It is the hope of Christ, the salvation of Christ, it is a promise for good, for mercy. It is a steadfast promise I choose to live because God is steadfast and sure.
“The Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
It is well. In my soul it is well. Like Horatio Spafford wrote after his son was lost to a fire and in the wake of losing four additional daughters to a wreck at sea, “it is well”.
“Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed his own blood for my soul.”
December. It’s not about what can be bought, it’s about what has been given. So so much has been given. Are you tired? Are you discouraged? Feeling overwhelmed? Are your ears ringing from the deafening sound of “busy”? Is your heart aching from loss? If yes, then stop. Stop long enough to let God feed your soul. At his feet, despite the snow that falls or the storm that whirls, “it is well”.