Daily Proverbial, from James, 23 December 2013

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.  James 4, verse 15.

Christmas Eve is tomorrow.   My wife and I were talking just the other day about the disappointment that so often occurs after Christmas; the big let-down.   We were saying that some of the let-down is due to not getting the anticipated reaction from people.   Whether it’s giving gifts, cookies, meals, or just a simple act of generosity, there are fewer things that can pop your Christmas bubble quicker than apathy or satisfaction at something you give or do.

Wouldn’t it be better to simply give the gift no matter what could happen, saying “if it’s the Lord’s will, I will live?”

And  then there are New Years resolutions.   I’ve said it before:   I don’t make them.   My history with keeping new year resolutions isn’t very successful.   To be honest, I’ve made more than I’ve kept, and some that I’ve kept haven’t been for the best.   These, too, can be a let-down when I fail, once again, to modify my behavior or live up to some unreasonable expectation that I’ve set for myself.

Wouldn’t it be better to simply resolve this, saying “if it’s the Lord’s will, I will live?”

Like every other year, this Christmas season has been busy.   Work, travel, parties, baking, shopping, meals, gifts, travel, family, cooking, eating, movies, music:  need I go on?   Worse, does it sound familiar?   Do people in other countries obsess about Christmas the way we do in America?   And even worse than that, can they?   Dr. Seuss is right:   Christmas will still come whether all the Who’s in Whoville put up their fluff and stuff or not.  It will come and it will still be Christmas no matter what decorations, presents, foods, or whatnot we do or not.   We aren’t in control of that.   God is.

In other words, if it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.  To get on James’ level, wouldn’t life be easier, maybe fuller, if we simply lived like that?

Not long ago, someone in the media opined that “we would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”  When you think about it, that’s saying what James is saying.   We would be better off to simply love God and love each other.  That’s especially true at Christmas if we want to avoid the letdown which is waiting just a few days up the calendar.   If we let it, that letdown can ruin a perfectly good day that just so happens to commemorate Jehovah Emmanuel.     If it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll live this week to see that day.   If it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll simply live to do this or that, let yes mean yes and no mean no.

Lord, Merry Christmas, Your day.  Thank You for the reminder to live in today.

 

Do you find yourself all wrapped around the axle at this time of year?

Do you find yourself feeling sideways at Christmas, and have you asked yourself why that is?

What do you think about simply living according to the Lord’s will?

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