How often do you declare Him? How often do you proclaim His goodness?
It's Christmas morning. I've secretly wrapped my daughter's baby doll in a 'trough'. In the midst of our unwrapping presents, I'll have my girls unwrap 'baby Jesus' and we will pause and read the story of His birth. I wanted to return their attention back to why we were even celebrating Christmas. My girls unwrap the baby and my youngest yells out, 'Hey! That's MY baby!' It was funny at the moment, but remembering it now, it intrigues me. That baby represented Jesus. How many times do I say, "Hey! That's MY Jesus!'? How often do I claim Him? How often do I represent Him and bring glory to His Name? I look back at all those times I've failed Him. Not being patient. Yelling. Being manipulative. Just flat out disobeying His Word of wisdom that He's given me to help me make the best choices. How many times do I instead go with my feelings instead of righteousness? My goodness, there has been so many times that I have fallen short of what He desires for me. So many times I was less than He has made me. So many times I did what He knew was not good for me. Yet, He loves me. Yet, He still stands by me. Yet, He still comes every time I fall...which is always of my own foolish doing. I remember all the times I do everything else but spend time alone with Him...to learn from Him, to love on Him, to worship Him. I do so many things in my own strength and soon realize how I could have done so much better. If only...If only I had sat with my Lord and gained strength and wisdom from Him. I should sit and let Him guide me in His truth and faithfulness and teach me, for He is the God of my salvation; for He (He alone and altogether) should I wait expectantly all the day long (Psalm 25:5). And, there are times when I'm scared. Things aren't doing well. People aren't acting like I want them to do. Bills are piling up. The car is acting up. So many times, I worry, but instead I should wait and hope for and expect the Lord, be brave and of good courage and let my heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord (Psalm 27:14). My inner self waits earnestly for the Lord. He is my Help and Shield (Psalm 33:20). My soul waits only upon God, silently submitting to Him, for my Hope and expectation are from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation and my Glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness and my refuge is in God! (Psalm 62:5-7). If only I would stand on these truths more often, more completely. I hear it and believe it, but then the enemy comes and works on taking it from me. I fight most times, but sometimes instead go along with the enemy's words and get all worked up. Then, I remember...that if I don't have peace, I'm not listening to the right Voice. So, I return to Him once again. Sometimes begging. Sometimes crying. Sometimes in frustration with myself. But always humbly asking Him to help me please to stop going away from the Rock of my salvation. The Rock of my peace. The Rock that keeps me stable in the midst of the storms. Again, I come and wait patiently and expectantly for the Lord, and He INCLINES to me and hears my cry. He draws me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and sets my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. And, He puts a new song in my mouth; a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confidante reliance on the Lord (Psalm 40:1-3). I, again, fall back in love with my first love. My eyes and heart return to His. I am filled to overflowing. And, the things of this earth seem so much smaller. They may still be there, but they don't overwhelm me, for He has come to me. He has helped me. He has given me His peace. He has strengthened me, and now I can take on anything the enemy brings. Those who wait for the Lord (who expect, look for, and hope in Him) shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift up their wings and mount up close to God as eagles mount up to the sun; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired (Isaiah 40:31).