Welcome in the holiday season. Ring the bells. Put up the Christmas trees. Fill the yards with blow-up sleighs and giant reindeer. Eleven months have passed and the runner is sliding into home base. It is – the holiday season.
The question of the year . . . What are you thankful for?
It’s the dreaded question that draws the pat answer . . . “I’m grateful for my family,” (whether we are or not). I’m not good at answering questions under pressure. It’s why I’ve never tried to be a contestant on Jeopardy even though I can blow the socks off the contestants from the comfort of my living room couch. When placed under pressure, my answers are . . . well . . . ordinary.
Of course, I’m grateful for my family. The good Lord has been nothing short of GOOD to us this past year. I’m grateful for the provision we’ve been blessed to have throughout the year. All those unexpected bills we were surprised by, now rest in a file marked, “PAID IN FULL.” God has lived up to the expectation of “good.”
We’ve had our snags, our share of hardships. Tough decisions and well, we’ve had junk too. But who hasn’t?
I’ve had a couple of knocks and bangs to my knees that have, for lack of better words, nearly caused me to momentarily lose my religion. Like when I raced a friend during a fast-paced game of “Snag the Chair.” One chair, two women, one older (me) the other much younger (her). You know how this ends, right? Busted knee and 4 months of physical therapy.
If the truth be known, we’ve been devastated a couple of times. Still, despite it all, I have a bounty of things for which I am grateful.
Regardless of how life has attacked me through the year it really wasn’t hard (that is, when there’s no pressure on me to spout it out quickly), to know the thing that I am most grateful.
I’m grateful to have been stirred and not shaken. Thankful for a faith that is sustaining despite the junk that happens. I look at my year as a cup with hot chocolate mix being filled with hot water. The spoon goes in, clinks against the sides of the cup, scraping what’s left of the powder into the liquid. Stirred briskly, mashing out the lumps. Never shaken, leaving chunks of unmixed chocolate and foamy bubbles that hide the hot liquid.
I’m stirred. Not shaken. My faith mixed fully into my circumstance producing a smooth, creamy taste of Christ in my life.
In a day when morals are made to be politically correct and sugarcoat the sin, the world feeds on tearing down our grasp of hope. There seems to be no mercy, no reason to be thankful. It pushes the very limit of humanity’s belief in the Living God. Yet the ember of faith smolders, waiting for a breeze to fan it into a flame.
So I ask you that pressure driven question: What are you thankful for?
Look at your life and remember that the basis of our gratefulness stems from our
faithfulness. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we’re receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, so be thankful.
As the holidays storm in, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate gently stirred. Never shaken.
(Turkey drawing courtesy of www.morguefiles.com & kakisky)
Cindy, thanks so much for this reminder that though life bangs us up and threatens to undo us, we are stirred, not shaken because we stand on the solid rock of Jesus.
Thanks. I appreciate your comment. We are fortunate to have a God who stirs us gently.
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