Friend, if your world looks anything like mine, then November takes life to a whole new level of crazy, right? Add into the year-end mix of nativity concerts et al, a heat wave, a puppy, and a couple weeks left to finish the first draft of a new book.
So I’ve got some hashtags trending in my head and I’m telling anyone who will listen (mostly me):
1 Be Inconvenienced
The frayed nerves at this time of year are part exhaustion, part people just not getting what they want. But love doesn’t get its own way. Love is, more often than not, inconvenient. From here until Christmas, go out of your way to love others even if they’ll never know how much it inconvenienced you. Because, don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:4) Surprise your spouse or your kids or anyone you care about, the way God surprised us by giving up the convenience of glory and breaking into a quiet corner of humble history to change destiny. Bring all you have – all you are – to God. Tell Him you’re all in. It will be inconvenient, and worth it.
2 Be Grateful
You’re one decision away from having the kind of Christmas you’ve always dreamed of. It’s the decision to turn Poor Me into Oh Wow! Give thanks for every little thing. Do it for 63 days and it will Change. Your. Life.
3 Be all about the Light and the Hope
Filter all your Christmas decisions through those two words. Light. Hope. They’ll be your YES to simple, NO to stress. Jesus came, and the people living in darkness saw a great light. (Matthew 4:16) It’s called Christmas, and it shimmers hope for this life and the next. So, ‘tis the season to pursue only what offers light, and hope. Overspending, over-catering, overeating, over-analysing family politics – none of these hold the hope sparkle.
4 Be the Rain
Around here, we’re desperate for rain because El Niňo is doing its thing. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:21-23) So until it rains – because it will – we could be cool rain for thirsty souls. We could refresh others and ourselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25) We could buy into random acts of kindness and intentional words of affirmation. Because Isaiah said it from a parched place too – that the Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:11)
5 Finish wisely
Now is not the time to quit. The things you promised to carry this year? Keep carrying them, and don’t put them down until the very end. How’s this for telling it like it is: So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. (Hebrews 12:12)
Now is not the time to start something new. Don’t add to the load. (I know. We got a puppy. I’m preaching to me.) Don’t force things. Walk, don’t run. It is not by force nor by strength, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. (Zechariah 4:6)
In a world gone wild, let’s pray for each other, that we might live our November stories the way we want to tell them someday.
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