I don't know about you, but the holidays, for me, are often bittersweet. Our Christmas season doesn't resemble a Norman Rockwell painting, and I find myself becoming envious of those who seem to have those perfect family holiday Facebook posts and Christmas cards.
Thanksgiving was filled with tears for more reasons than one. Surgery, family illness in all varieties, unforgiveness, adult child issues, struggles, then add in missing those who have passed, and a new "normal" has been thrust upon me that I'm not willing to embrace. I realize I have cracks in my soul that need filling.
But, as I make this pilgrimage toward the birth of Jesus in a manger, I am drawn to the Psalms of Ascent. These are Psalms or songs that the Israelites sang as they made their way back to Jerusalem for the various feasts and celebrations.
I as read the Psalms, I was drawn to the verbs or actions of those making their way home:
1. "Call" Out of the depths I call [to the Lord]... Psalm 130
2. "Wait" I wait for the Lord, I wait...Psalm 130
3. "Bless" Lift up your holy hands in the holy place and bless the Lord...
4. "Trust" Those who trust the Lord are like Mt. Zion...Psalm 125
5. "Fear" Happy are those who fear the Lord, who "Walk" in His ways...
"Walk" Psalm 128.
6. "Rejoice" I rejoiced...Psalm 122
7. "Pray" Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem... Psalm 122
And perhaps my favorite:
8. "Lift" I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come
from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and
earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
My "help" does not come from better health, restored relationships, lack of struggles and trials, no, it comes from the Lord. Through it all, I cling to the fact that God is good. He is faithful, and His grace is sufficient in all circumstances. He will never leave nor forsake me.
So instead of looking around me to my circumstances, I lift my eyes to the mountains and I call, I wait, I bless, I trust, I fear the Lord, I walk, I rejoice, and I pray.
God is gracious and He will fill in the cracks if we simply call upon His name and ask.
God not only fills the hole in our heart, He fills the cracks in our soul.
I think sometimes I get a little greedy and I want it all (all good and no bad). The rain, however, falls upon the just as well as the unjust. I need to realize that God has already given me every good thing. I need a renewed perspective.
He has given me Himself and He has given me the gift of salvation and Sonship through the sacrifice of Christ, my brother. He's also given me the gift of a holy guide and counselor. I have it all...everything else is just the cherry on top.
God can take the broken pieces of my life, fill in the cracks with His love and grace, and build a beautiful mosaic of my life that points directly to Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me please to adopt a more eternal perspective as I view life. Let my joy be in my salvation and in my relationship with You. Give me the strength to count my blessings with gratitude instead of counting my sorrows. I give thanks for this Advent season as I wait, with expectant anticipation, to celebrate the good, good gift of Your Son. Thank you for filling, with love, the hole in my heart and the cracks in my soul. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.