When the new is not so shiny

Our Christmas was sober but not without joy. We were all together and reminded of just how precious that gift is–the gift of together. Reminded, too, of that greatest gift of love–God sent down to man. God becoming man. God redeeming man.

The packages are unwrapped, and we all have something new we are enjoying. Some desired item or some delightful surprise. My favorite gifts to give are the surprises. I love to think of something unexpected but perfectly fitted.

I think about God and His giving. How everything we have is from Him and how we take so much for granted. All the perfectly suited gifts that we don’t even notice. All of the daily delights that we fail to appreciate.

How can I doubt this Giver of good gifts?

And yet…

This new year doesn’t feel like a shiny new present full of possibilities. It feels more like sorrow. More like pain. It feels more like old fears and can’t-do-it doubts.

It feels like shivering on the cold, hard ground on the night before a great battle. We’re not warm enough and certainly not brave enough.

Nothing inside us could ever be enough for this battle.

Can we trust the Giver of good gifts to provide what we do not have? Can we expect perfectly fitted gifts and unexpected blessings and provision of needs we cannot know?

Can we expect a miracle?

You don’t need a miracle when you are in the middle of happy. You don’t need a miracle when things are going well. Miracles are for the sick and the dying and the broken. Miracles are for those who are weary and worn and beyond human help.

I’m certain there will be good gifts this year. I’m confident that God is good and that He never changes. I know He will give blessings every day that are perfectly suited to us and that remind us of His love.

I believe in His miracles.

My husband was digging in the empty garden yesterday. Nothing but damp dirt and rotted plants. But seeds will be planted in that dark earth, and I have seen the miracle of spring. I have seen how somehow in that darkness, before it ever sees the sun, the seed will begin to grow. It will push through the darkness to the light.

One of our miracles might be an enabling to continually push toward the light. To seek God even when we don’t understand. To take each step with purpose because of His promises. To trust Him in the dark.

The miracle might be what is unseen.

The miracle might be what He is doing in the dark.

For it is You who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God–His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is shield for all those who take refuge in Him. Psalm 18:28-30 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18











2 thoughts on “When the new is not so shiny

  1. Praying for the God of all comfort to encourage your hearts today. This Jim Berg message, “Thanksgiving for Deliverance and Answered Prayer” reminded me to pray extra for you today: tinysa.com/sermon/102131315480

    Liked by 1 person

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