I didn’t know what to write today. This Advent Journal, the creating of my thanksgiving theology leaves me feeling indifferent today. Those who have read my ponderings over the past seven years know that I don’t write on the blog every day; it’s scattered. I may go months between writings. The one cardinal rule of successful bloggers is that you must blog every day. If you don’t—forget it. It’s like a plant, if you don’t water it, the plant will die. I have fought hard against this grain, because I don’t want to write something just to write; I want to be purposeful so that what comes from my pen, is rooted in the heart of God. Thus, the Advent Journal is proving to be a challenge. Not because I don’t want to write, but because I do.
I am feeling indifferent because I still struggle with finding joy in the Christmas season. There are days when I just don’t feel it. And while we don’t want to live there, it is okay that we feel that way on occasion. Isn’t that the story of the Bible? A long history of messy people who struggle in this thing called life. Maybe that occasion is a longer season for some than others, but we can sit and be still in the quiet, alone with God, and receive peace.
Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10
The lack of enthusiasm for me is not about receiving presents, though I do wish I had resources to be more giving in this season. I could wake tomorrow with a thousand gifts under the tree just for me, and it not alter how I feel. I feel like I have lost my song. How does one who authored a book on finding and redeeming your song, lose her song? Life. Life tends to be hard. I don’t have a community of women friends that regularly pray for me or send encouragement (with the exception of one or two close friends), so I have to—learned to— run to Him. It is in my quiet times with Him, that my soul is refreshed and my spirit fed—and I am reminded of my song.
When we are quiet with Him, we purpose to turn our thoughts and our hearts toward Him; In return we receive peace:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7 NASB).
In my quest for a thanksgiving theology, I try to keep in the Word, I play worship music; I do all I can to draw near to God. (James 4:8 NASB), However, sometimes I still have a bad day when things just don’t seem to be going in the direction it should. I know in these times that my direction is all wrong; it has shifted away from Him to being self-centered. Before I penned this, I intended to post a video of my favorite Christmas hymn, O Holy Night. I must have watched a half a dozen renditions on YouTube; from Whitney Houston, to Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson…Choirs and ensembles. But as I listened, one line in the hymn grabbed my attention: A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices. The weary soul rejoices. In rejoicing we find peace. When you can’t face the season; rejoice. Even in the darkest place we have much to be thankful for. The Almighty God, sent His Son—the Incarnate God—to redeem the world because He is Love. That is enough to cause us to be thankful and worship Him every single day. Worshiping is the key to cultivating a grateful heart. It will change your perspective from you—self-centered—to Him where it belongs. He will remind you of the song He sang over you.
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs (Zeph. 3:17 NLT).
Advent is all about preparing and waiting on the Lord. We need to prepare our hearts to receive Him. Bring Him Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh; Praise, Worship, and Adoration, and wait for your King.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7 NASB).
To read the entire Advent Journal click here: