Christmas Lights and Jonah’s Gourd

 

 “So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” Jonah 4:6

24852525_10215477430155882_3326722355540250083_nChristmas lights—a source of great delight and fierce frustration! I’m sure you’ve all experienced the irritation of placing LIT lights on your tree or around the highest point of your house, only to descend the ladder, look up, and see a section that is not working!  So was the case at the MacAvoy household this year.  After pitching three half-lit strands of lights, I finally got the tree completely illuminated; however, the following week while serenely sipping coffee and reading my Bible beside the tree (what ambiance!), I noticed a flicker of light in my peripheral vision. When I looked over at the tree, I saw the lights go on and off once again in a section of the tree!

They stayed unlit for a few days until I had a chance to check it out. When I did, I felt like someone working for their salvation.  Surely, if I pull out each darkened bulb and replaced it, checking to make sure that all the wires were intact, God would reward my efforts.  As in Naaman’s situation, God waited until that last bulb before intervening, but when I pulled out that bulb the rest of the lights came to life! I looked at the empty socket, and then at the bulb in my hand! A miracle!

The following morning I was talking to God, praising Him and thanking Him for the blessing of the previous day, when I remembered the lights. With “exceeding gladness,” I thanked Him for lighting my tree!

Isn’t that just like Jonah? He was so glad that God took pity on him and make a vine to shield him from the hot rays of the sun. He did not thank Him for having pity on the eternal souls of men, including himself, but rather was overwhelmed with joy because of physical comfort.

The Lord’s challenge for me this Christmas season is this:

 Can I look past the pressing things, the daily trials, and the difficult circumstances, and focus on the blessings and needs of those around me?

To do so takes extra time which is already limited at this time of year, but so many of our friends and families desperately need to see Jesus in a tangible way! So, do the extraordinary for Christmas. Think out of the box.  After all, Jesus left the dazzling perfection of heaven to be entombed in Mary’s womb, to undergo the pangs of labor, and to surround His deity with the scent of barn animals and smelly shepherds. Can’t I do something extraordinary for Him for His birthday?

And, by the way… “Doest thou well to be angry [with the Christmas lights] (Jonah 4:9)?”  🙂

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A Lesson from my husband

ID-10041505On Saturday morning, the men in our church have a prayer meeting in the church fellowship hall.  Recently, we received a Keurig, which has made their time even more enjoyable!  This past Saturday, my dear husband surprised me with a cup of coffee.  I wasn’t expecting him, because he had only been gone for a few minutes; then he explained that he had tried this flavor of coffee and it was too sweet, but he knew I’d like it!

How thoughtful, but the part that was really thoughtful to me was that he brought it to me in a glass cup.  We have paper hot/cold cups, but they have a tendency to pick up any odors of their surroundings!  It doesn’t flavor the coffee, but it does spoil the coffee for me.  I’ve come to realize that I have a super sensitive sniffer – no one else seems to notice this.

As I was enjoying my cup of coffee, I was nearly finished when I realized the cup!  How thoughtful.  If I could take this moment to brag on my sweetheart – he is like that: he looks for ways to make things special for me!

It was a rebuke to me.  Do I do that?  I’d like to think so, but too often that is NOT the case.  Recently, I did do something for him that was out of the norm and he was so surprised and so appreciative. 😦   It wasn’t much, but it was something that I didn’t want to do, but knew it would be a help to him!

So what’s the lesson?

Others, Lord, yes others;

Let this my motto be:

That even when I kneel to pray,

My prayer will be for others. 

So often, it’s the little things that really show that we care – the little things that benefit others and are not convenient for ourselves!  Try it!  You’re spouse or parent or sibling will be blessed and so will you!

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.Matthew 10:42