It’s that time of year again. We have one choice to make. It may be accepted, or it may be met with disdain. We are faced with the question, “To decorate or not decorate?” There may as well be picket lines on the “issue”. EVERYBODY has got an opinion. Me? I pretty much take the stand that I will decorate when I good and well please. I LOVE Christmas. I love the smells, sights, sounds. I was married in a December, week before Christmas, wedding, and the air just seemed to hold a little extra SPECIAL. The sense of peace Christmas brings me is something I would like to bottle up and take with me all year long.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just stay in the season? Seems like everyone loves a little better, lingers in our homes a little longer and problems just don’t seem so big. We fuss about people jumping into Christmas when it’s not yet even Thanksgiving, but isn’t this what WE always do? Aren’t we all rushing forward and sprinting toward the next season? I look back on times in my life where I desperately wanted OUT – out of pain, out of discomfort, away from people, away from having to TRY to just make it through another day. What I want is so often exactly what I do not get. Instead I am forced to REMAIN – remain in the pain, remain in the discomfort, stay with those people, stay and live in it day after day.
Seasons can be so hard. When we look back on them, we use words like “hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” or “I barely made it out”. There’s a lot of life we’ve lived in them to make it to the next season. When we are on the other side of it, I’ve often heard people say, “I really wouldn’t have had it any other way.” I’ve said it…through clenched teeth sometimes, but I’ve said it. It’s been in the toughest, most hard to understand times that I’ve seen God the most clearly. He did not abandon me when others did. He held my hand on the days I’ve been so sick that I could barely lift my head. He allowed me to be in it all because of this…Don’t we all need a little push to see things in our life that others may not be so willing to point out? To walk in greater humility, to point people to Jesus, to point out sin in my life, and so on, the list has grown in each hard season of life in order to make me more like Him. The season ALWAYS has a purpose. We may need to linger a little longer just to park ourselves in front of HIM and listen.
I haven’t put my decorations up as early this year as I usually do. I needed to personally linger a little longer where I am – busy, full calendar, travel, etc. – and just be present there. The demand to BE PRESENT OVER PERFECT shouts loud and clear sometimes. We’re left with the choice to move on or remain in it. The tough stuff, the easy… the reward of knowing Him will always be IN the season, but we will only ever find more of HIM when we seek more of HIM there.