During that half awake but still half asleep time when you first start to wake up in the morning, doesn’t life seem a little clearer than during your fully-awake day when your mind is filled with so many distractions? At least that’s the way it is for me.
When I first awoke this morning, my mind just gradually filled with mistakes and mis-steps I have made. Things I’ve NOT done that I should have, and vivid recollections of things I HAVE done that I would take back, or revise.
I had a long, long-time friendship that recently ended with hurt feelings on both sides. I keep asking myself, how should I have handled that differently.
Hubby and I have struck a few sour notes during the last few weeks, and I know that it was mostly my fault. I tend to speak before I think, and not always in a voice that reflects my love.
We missed church yesterday because we had had the family Christmas here on Saturday night, and were too exhausted to go to church on Sunday morning. Church is a refuge from the world where I hear His Word and have time to pray and reflect on the message — a “filling station” where my soul is “re-fueled.” What does God think when I let “social” get in the way of “eternal?”
So, this morning there were many thoughts running through my head, all making me feel unloving, unlovable and humble.
When times like this occur, there are some things I purposely bring to mind:
First, I believe that one of the ways that the devil pulls us away from God, is by encouraging us to “wallow” in our shortcomings. He wants us to think that we are so bad that God couldn’t possibly love us.
I heard a pastor express this so well one time. He said, “The devil has a game plan that goes like this: First he TEMPTS you. Then, after you yield to that temptation, he BLINDS you to the consequences of your actions, so that you will keep on sinning. Then, if and when you finally do recognize your sin and want to repent, he uses every power available to him to CONVINCE you that you cannot be loved by God because of what you did! And, if he does convince you — SUCCESS! You are his!”
The other thought I call to mind is this: If we didn’t sin, we wouldn’t need God. Of course God doesn’t want us to sin, but when we do, it is only when we recognize our sin and confess it, that we understand our NEED for His forgiveness and salvation through the birth and resurrection of Christ!
So, today is a humble day for me. First, because my mind started the day by so vividly recalling my shortcomings. But then this evening when we are at the candlelight service celebrating the birth of Christ, I will be freshly humbled because we are celebrating the birth of Christ, who came to SAVE me from my sins!
May the saving grace of Christ who came to save us all, feel very personal to each of us as we celebrate His birth!