I believe God allows us to experience and go through things sometimes to open our eyes, to move us from where we are and sometimes to share it with others. In what I share below, I believe all three are true for me (I am included and have found myself lacking as well).
WOW! It is another holiday season, the perfect time for all of us to neglect and show how much we do not care about each other. The perfect time of year to really show the people in our lives that our love for them is not genuine at all but really very superficial. It is a time to come together with family, leaving all others behind to fend for themselves while thinking nothing of the single mother, the widow, the poor or less fortunate that are in your circle of friends or acquaintances, not to mention those outside of it. If those in our circles are not being cared for then you know we are not considering those in the world that need a love touch from God through us. This doesn't quite sound like a holiday card I would want to receive, what about you? Thanks Guys for not remembering me during the holidays, thanks for not calling and for thinking about you and only you. Have a blessed day, Happy Thanksgiving! NOT! Oh, silly me, I forgot, we are too busy cooking and making plans for an exciting holiday for ourselves.
I was sitting at the dining room table thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's when a thought hit me like a ton of bricks. What are me and the girls going to do for Thanksgiving? My parents are in Florida every year at Thanksgiving so they are excluded from this scenario:) My grandparents are away this year too. Suddenly I felt unloved and lonely because we had no one to spend the holiday with. I heard many people making plans, but they didn't include us, as a matter of fact only 2 friends asked what I was going to do for Thanksgiving and when I said I have no plans they rushed on to share there plans and then said good-bye.
My heart was greatly saddened. I felt a couple of things. One was how we rush around and make our plans and don't invite God into them. I now, have a small glimpse of what that might feel like to Him. Two, that we as believer's have lost what is most important in our lives according to God--LOVE.
Personally, I have many people who call me friend and sistergirl but year after year, holiday after holiday no one thinks about checking to see if we have some place to be for the holidays and open their home to us or invite us to tag along with them. I even have family within a 6-10 mile radius and they do not check on us and ask us whether we have plans or invite us to share a meal with them. Shame on all of us when we can't think past our own agenda to see God's agenda. I ask you...WHERE IS THE LOVE?
Do we even ask God who HE wants us to spend some holiday time with...of course not, we spend it with who we want to spend it with, I know you are probably saying, come on Michelle...It's not that deep. I beg to differ. Everything about God and His love is deep, maybe we are just too shallow to tread in the deep waters of God's kind of love. Yes, the pun was intended:)
No wonder people have trouble believing in our God, the One True God whose claim to fame is a love that would put His own son on the cross to die for our sins, yet His people won't stretch a bit to invite someone into their well organized plans for the holiday. No wonder Christ is laughed at, no wonder people don't believe. We are doing a less than acceptable job as a people of being a lamp unto the world of God's love.
What are you doing this holiday season that shows the love of Christ to a dying world of lost souls. Are you leaving them to fend for themselves? Lonely and depressed because no one thinks highly enough of them to show them some love. What greater gift of love can be given than a man lay down his life for a friend? Christ was the ultimate example. The sad part of this story is that we as believer's lack the love of Christ in our lives. His love is not selfish or self seeking, His love has spoken from the cross, a sinless man dying in our place, His love has embraced us and called us His own even when we were a terrible mess...and the truth is we are still a mess but HE does not leave us alone and does not have us fend for ourselves.
Who do you call friend? Have you extended yourself to include them in your holiday plans? I have only been asked two times this Thanksgiving what my holiday plans are. Hmm, could it be that people are to absorbed with their own lives that they don't think about another? Who do we serve? Was not His life, is not His life from the cross to the grave from the grave to the sky all an true manifestation of His love for us? So I ask you...WHERE IS THE LOVE?
BTW (by the way)- there are no excuses that God will accept for us as believer's not making room for others. We who have been forgiven much....should be overflowing with love. I just don't get it...the great commandment is Love one another...where is God in you if you are too busy to show love to others?
CONFESSION - Since I wasn't included in anyones plans (no hard feelings:)) I am having a friend over for Thanksgiving dinner. She was not able to travel home to visit her family for the holiday. NO APPLAUSE! I blew it big time. She is coming over because she invited herself. This is not a bad thing. I should have been the one to invite her. This was a wake up call for me. I heard God loud and clear!!
Let's all get a jump start on Christmas, check out our inner circle of friends and let's not stop there, let's take a look at our acquaintances, etc. If you are not making dinner, not a problem, most families don't mind a stray person, just think about that boyfriend or girlfriend you invited everywhere, who are not even with now, they let him/her come over on the holiday. You know I am right!
Let's give the love of Christ this Christmas 2008!You know what...If we don't first love God this way, to invite Him into every area of our lives it will be nearly impossible for us to involuntarily (knee jerk reaction) love others as HE does.