Stealing the Joy

December 15, 2006 at 9:28 pm (Uncategorized)

"Beating the Christmas Blues" – that’s what the Pastor’s been teaching on the last few weeks. When I heard what the next series was I thought "Hm, glad that doesn’t happen to me. I love the holidays."

Um….I take it back. I mean, I’m used to the stress and the crazy people (seriously – the roads are SCARY!). But there is something about this holiday season. Satan is trying his darndest to STEAL MY JOY!!!!

Thanksgiving is always tough for our family – my grandmother died on Thanksgiving 6 years ago – somewhat unexpectedly. It’s impossible to celebrate that day without remember the one in 2000. Then this year my mom spent Thanksgiving in the hospital (more on that later).

The next week our community suffered a great loss when Maj. Troy Gilbert’s F-16 crashed in Iraq. He left behind a wife and 5 young children. While we personally did not know the Gilbert family many of our close friends did – some through church and some through the Air Force. Troy’s life was an incredible testimony but it is impossible not to hurt at the thought of his family left behind – especially those kids.

Continuing tests from my mom’s hospital stay have concerned the doctor. They have referred her to another specialist whom she will see on the 20th. The worst case scenarios are scary and the waiting is horrible but God is bringing peace.

Then on Wednesday my best friend called to tell me that her husband was kicked out of his rehab (where he’s been for 3 months of a 12 month program) because he got caught with drugs. She had to tell her 2 little girls that daddy’s planned visit next week won’t happen because he’s taking pills again. They are left angry and heartbroken once again.

And it keeps piling on. Yesterday I got an email from a friend who found out that the baby she is carrying stopped developing and she will be miscarrying.

My heart is almost overcome with saddness for all of those that are hurting. But thankfully ALL of these people have one amazing thing in common. They rest their burdens and the feet of a MIGHTY God!

Last week in my women’s Bible Study (we’re going through the book "Captivating") the chapter was called "Warrior Princess". I really liked this paragraph…

"Women warriors are strong, yes, and they are also tender. There is mercy in them. There is vulnerability. In fact, offering a tender vulnerability can only be done by an incredibly strong woman, a woman rooted in Christ Jesus who knows whose she is and therefore knows who she is. Offering our hearts wisely, living in the freedom of God’s love, inviting others to rest, alluring those in our lives to the heart of God, and responding to the heart of God in worship are some of the most powerful ways that a woman wars for her world. But she also puts on the full armor of God daily and takes her immovable stand against the powers of darkness."

Eph 6:10-13
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

So I am determined to not let Satan steal the joy from this wondrous holiday and instead focus on the positive things. I have a dear friend who’s been struggling with infertility for a couple of years. They just found out they’re pregnant! My other best friend is pregnant and we are thinking many "pink" thoughts for her. Our son is doing great in school. God has brought us safely through another year. God has so richly blessed us.

I love The Message version of Philippians 4:6 "Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

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4 Comments

  1. Stacey said,

    I think I needed to read this just as much as you needed to write it! It’s so amazing what this time of year brings and all the happy and sad memories that hit us. I can’t believe just how hard the evil one works to get us down. I will be praying along with you as we go through these next couple weeks. I know God holds the future and that’s what I’m focusing on!!

  2. Mark said,

    I love you.

  3. Jenny said,

    Thanks for reminding me to watch out for evil, I think he’s been trying to creep in and steal my joy as well. You are such a beautiful woman of God and I really appreciate your wisdom and encouragement! And the Message version of Phil 4:6 has really hit home for me! Love you!

  4. Kel said,

    Right with you, my friend. Sounds like you have a good perspective, though. Fight for your Christmas joy! Love you!

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