At our house, I have a saying, “We’re Not the Cleavers, But That Never Stopped us from Wishing We Were.” The Cleavers, the Walton’s, the Ingall’s, we would be happy to have any resemblance to those families. You might find us listed at “Dysfunctional R Us” or on Facebook with the tags: painful childhood, loss of loved ones, overcoming addictions and trauma, or we might remind you of the old Hee-Haw song, “Gloom despair and agony on me,” If it were’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all". Did I make you smile yet? This is not my normal Christmas message! But for Jesus, the real reason of the Season and His Word that is ever living in my heart, soul and life we would go under! And perhaps your family would also, as you wonder what has happened to your "normal" life with the economy spiraling downward, sicknesses, and natural disasters abounding?
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
Psalm 90:14-15 (New King James Version)
I love these verses in Psalm 90, I was so astounded that the Lord would actually take the days of pain and affliction that we have gone through and make us happy according to them.
Is it possible that He would give joy as He allowed sorrow? Isn't that the premise of Romans 8:28 when it is said that He will work all things to our good?
What encouraging words and what a wonderful prayer to pray this Christmas season. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. ASV
Oh that the Lord would fill us with love and joy as we seek Him in the morning. It truly would give us a song to sing and a story to tell to our families and friends. How many of us want to proclaim His greatness to our children and grandchildren? Most of us do and we can by reminding them of these precious words from the Psalms.
It is okay to ask the Lord to treat us well and give us success. In my life I have felt afflicted with abuses, hurt and losses but I can prevail by focusing on the good that will come eventually. If I had not endured these things I would not be the person I am today. I was on the road to being a spoiled brat as a young girl and then my world was rocked by pain and I learned to look outside of myself. I learned that others are more important than myself. I learned about self-sacrifice from a mother who worked so many hours a week at forty-five cents an hour for years just to feed her children as my sweet Mama did. I learned that my brothers and sister were overcomers in life as they just did what they could to enjoy what little we had. We all learned that we had a lot more than many others. We learned to share what we had and that it is not material things that count but strength, maturity and kindness that will prevail all the days the Lord gives us. We learned that Christmas doesn’t mean getting gifts but it is about family and friends remembering the birth of an awesome Saviour. One whose life was not perfect, either.
My Christmas message may be different than most people's, but I guess the slant He gives me fits some families. You know: the dysfunctional, but trying ones, the funny, but forgiven ones, and the once hopeless but now Hope-filled ones! To God be the Glory! Affliction to gladness; it's the way of the Cross and the way our own Saviour took. I believe it is the way to hope for this Christmas Season.
Merry Christmas from Donna and family 2010