Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God and Sinners Reconciled

Throughout the Christmas season, I often sing along with familiar Christmas carols. I burst forth in jubilant song, trying to outsing the radio, but I rarely ponder the words. This morning, God stepped in and caused me to focus in on a very important line of a very familiar song.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing was on the radio this morning, and one line has been on my mind today: God and sinners reconciled. That's a powerful line jam packed with truth and grace - comfort and joy!

In the midst of the American hub bub that is the Christmas season, most of us Christians take at least a little time here and there to ponder the true reason we celebrate: Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. I wonder how often we take those thoughts beyond the sweet baby in the manger. We rarely think on how unpleasant the circumstances were surrounding his birth that night, so I wonder how often our thoughts drift to baby Jesus all grown up and hanging in bloody shreds on a cross for us.

Sweet baby Jesus was God incarnate - God with a purpose - God come down to rescue sinners. A terrible chasm existed between God and man, a chasm caused by sin. The perfect sacrifice of Christ was the only thing that could reconcile God and man.

So, this Christmas, when you sing about the sweet little Jesus boy, born on a silent night, and tucked away in a manger, remember that He came so that you, a sinner dead in your trespasses, might be reconciled to God.

Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Transition ... More Difficult than I Anticipated

I found out several weeks ago that I will be losing my job (along with a lot of people, but I'd prefer not to discuss all the details on a public blog). While most people have been upset, angry, scared, and a whole host of other emotions in relation to the news, I've been elated. I'm so excited about beginning a new chapter in my life.

God provided my current job to me about 5 1/2 years ago, and it has been a blessing. God has used this job to provide financially for my needs (and now my little family's needs), as well as to grow me. Over the last several months to a year, however, I've grown to realize it wasn't the best fit for me any more. Joseph and I both sensed the Lord leading us to transition me to something new, but we knew it wasn't the right time for me to leave.

God's sovereignty has been so evident in all of this. Joseph and I paid off all of our debt (sigh ... debt that I brought into our marriage) this summer (woo hoo!), so we aren't as dependent on me having a full time job. We also started our own business at the end of August. We are independent distributors for Premier Designs, a wonderful, biblically based jewelry company. With those two pieces in place, finding out I'm losing my job sooner than we thought wasn't scary to us. Of course, trusting a kind, loving, gracious God who always provides for our needs gives us a lot of peace, too!

We were given a very likely end date of January 3rd, so I started planning! I want to go back to school. More specifically, I want to go to Greenville Tech and earn a degree in photography. I think that will really help us with our photography business. With a deadline for applying approaching quickly, I submitted an application to begin classes in January.

Now there is a kink in my plans. January 3rd is no longer the likely end date. February 1st is much more likely. Because classes begin the week of January 10th, school (at least full time like I had planned) seems very unlikely.

While I still completely trust that God is in control and has all of the details of my life mapped out, I'm still finding it very difficult to be content with this change of plans ... yes, this change of MY plans. I recognize that God's plans may be very different from my plans.

I say all of this publically on the internet because I need prayer. I want to be filled with peace and trust as God's plan unfolds. I don't want to miss out on what God is doing because I was so bummed out when my plans didn't go as I had hoped.