Living From the Inside Out
Is the 26th of December a strange day for you? Do you feel the sigh inside? It's over. Some years our celebrations have lasted a day or two beyond the 25th, but generally it's: Ahhhhhhh-done.
The kids are still sleeping, delirious from all the stimulation, overload of sugar and rich food. Little scraps of wrapping paper dot the living room floor as the bulk has been crammed into overflowing barrels set out for the trash man.
Suddenly all the decorations seem in-the-way, to me. The glitter has faded. I cringe at the sound of Christmas music. Maybe it's just me, but my new year begins the day after Christmas. That's when I get out my fresh, new journal.
I love Christmas, but all the materialism feels like this big thing we have to get through. Like the yucky, digestive hangover after really rich meals. Now that it's over, we can move into normal life again. But, the 26th of December also makes me want to have a better normal next time.
I sat on my swing this morning observing my surroundings, it looked pretty bleak. The snow is dirty, the scrub-trees that edge my property appear even more scrubby, and there's hardly a demarkation between land and sky because everything is blended, bleak and grey.
As I began to pray, suddenly, in my mind's eye, the scene changed. Spring green leaves burst on the surrounding branches, the Japanese Maple's red leaves tipped and fluttered in the soft, spring breeze. Tulips lined my walkway, and Peony buds hung heavy on their slender stems. For just a moment, it was spring.
I felt the Lord saying:
I want you to live from the inside out. Don't determine the presence of My life by what you see. Live in the constant knowledge of my unconditional love, unmeasured by your performance, or what is happening around you.
Carry My life into every bleak situation and watch hope burst in people's hearts. I have called you to be carriers of My life -- you who know the touch of Heaven, you who have tasted the Joy that only I bring. When you walk in this life, be aware that you carry the story of My birth everyday, not just at Christmas. My world is hungry for the truth you hold--that's why they work so hard at celebration.
You are the carriers of springtime - everywhere you go. You carry inside yourselves the hope of the "better normal" all men seek. Be aware that when you walk in Me, wherever you walk, life has arrived.
Father, thank you for sending Your Son to show us who You are, and for paying the price so we can know who You are. Thank you for family, and for the joy of giving. Thank you for the Christmas celebration. Father, help us walk into 2017 with a greater awareness of Your presence with us. May we be the the people of Your heart and carry, with honor, the Life and joy of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.