There are times I look at someone and I wish I had more to offer. I wish I had the words to make things better. As a parent, we try to make things better with our children. Comfort them, kiss the wound, and send them on their way. But in so many lives there is anxiety, depression or emotional scars that are far deeper than a band-aid and a kiss. They need God. I am so glad He is there. You see, the good news is that God is willing to go to all of those places!
In Genesis 39 there is a familiar story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. To make a long story short, she ends up accusing him of trying to assault her and Joseph ends up in jail. But do you know what it says? It says that while Joseph was in prison, God was with him. He was even in solitary confinement and God was with him. God showed kindness to him and watched over him even though he was suffering. He didn’t take the suffering away. He was there with him in it.
It is a healthy reminder for all of us that there is no limit to God’s presence in our life. If you are in prison, the hospital, or in your living room wondering how to navigate the pain of your life, God is with you! Sure the suffering might not just disappear, but knowing you are not alone should give you some hope.
So remember that no matter where you go in life, God is willing to go there with you.
After a tough start to winter this year, we finally had some days where we could go outside and not have the wind freeze our flesh. It was quite the treat. As I walked around the yard I noticed that the snow was deeper than I remembered it being and that getting that snow in your boots is cold. Over on one side of the yard sat the Christmas tree, waiting in line to be burned in the fire pit during the summer. It still looks really green, but is not as nice as it was in the living room. In my hands were Christmas lights that for whatever reason decided to stop working, ironically just like my preteen son. And then it hit me: I would sure hate to be January.
December gets all the hype, fun lights, gifts, movies,elves, and sweet treats. November gets Thanksgiving which takes food and football and merges them together in merriment. What does January get? Dark days and nights. Cold temperatures. Frozen pipes. Cars that won’t start. Ice covered roads. Garage doors that break. (yes, the replacement of the aforementioned door is happening this week– could be a blog post in that) All of this and the let down emotionally that Christmas has now come and gone once again. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the seasons of the year. I look foward to them in fact. It is just that January seems to get left out of the fun, like that one friend that nobody thinks to call and invite to the movie. Thankfully February shares candy hearts early with everyone, which makes us look forward to spring and February 15th when they get marked down to 50% off.
Yet, as I thought about this I realized that there is a lot of joy to be had in January. Life is full of adventure and experiences. Winter sports are in full swing. Movie nights in the warmth of the living room are a nice treat that does not happen in the summer. Getting out the skis is a fun activity that even the littlest among us can figure out pretty quickly. (I mean how can you look at her and not smile?)
Yes, I guess there is joy to be found in every month of the year. It takes looking for something that will brighten your day and doing that. For me it might be getting a cup of coffee and staring out the window for a while. At other times I enjoy pulling my daughter around the yard in the sled or working on some project. Whatever it is for you, get out and enjoy each day because each day is a true gift from God. Yes, even January.