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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An early Christmas present

Last night, I received one of the best Christmas gifts ever. It's one that will keep on giving long past the holiday season.

And no, it's not a year's supply of Godiva. Although that would be incredible. :-)

Before I reveal this incredible present, I need to paint a little picture to offer some perspective.

Imagine with me a frustrated writer an hour before a major deadline who’s still short ten thousand words. And this deadline will make or break his or her career.

Imagine too that this author spent the months preceding this deadline deliberately avoiding the computer, research, reading, and thinking about the book that was due.

Then imagine that this author's gracious and kind editor extended the deadline. Not only that, this editor gave the author a number of amazing suggestions to help this author past the writer's block and plot problems.

But what if this author ~ instead of receiving this gift and working diligently to meet the extended deadline ~ turns off the computer and decides to ignore the editor's help? Not only that but the author again waits until the day before the deadline to even think about doing the necessary work.

Would this author deserve another deadline? The editor's gracious help?

Now imagine the above author is me. Only the issue isn't a deadline but a command from God that looks as insurmountable as writing ten thousand words in one hour. And that after being extended over-the-top grace many times.

Enter the above mentioned early Christmas present.

What is it?

A huge box.

Exciting huh?

How about if I mention this box is just my size? In fact, it perfectly fits around me and squeezes until the only thing I can do is fall on my knees and look up.

This box is in reality a set of circumstances that only God could orchestrate with the sole intention of "encouraging" me to stop running from His command to forgive.

And once I opened this gift, I realized it's one of the best presents I've ever received.

Because yesterday, those box-like circumstances forced me to see that my running in fear from the one thing God was asking of me~ for my good~ was not only foolish, but was also hurting me and everyone around me.

Thankfully, God is even more gracious than the above example of an awesome editor's deadline extension. No matter how I tried to avoid the one issue that was eating away at my soul, God never gave up on leading me back to the truth.

He never gave up on me either. Even when I was sure I deserved nothing more than his disapproval and scorn.

What's even more amazing is the freedom and peace that comes along with obedience. Especially the obedience that tastes of salty tears and humble pie.

I don't know where you all are this holiday season or what gift (or box) you need to "encourage" you to visit the place you need most~ the arms of Jesus. But I'm praying you receive it.

Open it with care, knowing the One who loves you best and knows you completely sent it for one very important reason ~ to lead you deeper into Him.

And then, once you've unwrapped this gift, share it.

We're all in need this holiday season.

And you never know how much the lesson you've learned from opening your holiday box will influence the lives around you.

It might just fill the stable anew with kneeling shepherds and awed wise men giving their gifts to the Lord.

So come and see, and join me there. It's the only best place to be for Christmas and all year round.


Rel said...

Lovely, lovely, my friend :) Hugs!

Amy Wallace said...

Thanks so much, Rel!

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