Knowing You, Meeting Me

The Promise Clause

Merry Christmas, blog readers! I hope yours was filled with family, friends. presents, presence and lots of cookies. Definitely cookies. Mine had all of the above and an amaaaazing nap as my kids actually played quietly with their newly opened goodies. I enjoyed watching them open each and every one and then rush over to the giver with such grateful and thankful hearts. Parenting win!

I’ve been trying to sit down to write this for a few days now. Our preparations didn’t leave me a whole lot of free time = but, I’m sure none of you understand aaaaaaaaaanything about that. 😉 I was watching one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, The Santa Clause, and I kinda felt like I was seeing it for the first time. I mean, I own the trilogy. I love these movies. I’ve seen them dozens of times over the years, but this time was completely different.

In case you haven’t seen it, Tim Allen plays a divorced father named Scott Calvin. He accidentally frightens Santa off of a roof and after Santa falls, leaving his suit, Calvin puts it on to make his son laugh. Not long after, Calvin and his son are whisked away to the North Pole where the Head Elf, Bernard, explains to Calvin that because he read the card next to the suit and put on the coat, he’s the new Santa. Calvin doesn’t buy into this at all. He’s told that he has 11 months to get his affairs in order and report back and chaos ensues as the transformation takes over in spite of Calvin’s unbelief.

As I was watching this movie for the nth time, I was suddenly reminded of the story of Abraham. Genesis 12 begins the story of Abram. God tells him to go to Egypt and tells him that he’s going to make him a great nation – pack up everything and go. Abram does and leaves everything he knows behind. His journey isn’t always easy. Just like Scott Calvin does in our movie, Abram gives in to fear and does some lying (he tells Pharaoh that Sarai – his wife – is his sister).

In Genesis 15, a childless Abram is again promised to be made the father of a nation. He offered a sacrifice to the Lord and then a deep sleep came over him. That’s when something really cool happened. Normally, when a covenant was made, the parties would walk through two halves of a sacrifice together to signify their bond to the deal. This time, the Spirit of the Lord passed through while Abram was sleeping. There was nothing that Abram could do because he was literally incapacitated. This was a deal God made with Himself on Abram’s behalf.

What’s the lesson here?

Okay, we know that God says in Isaiah 55:11, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” and we know from 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” and we also know that He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). So, therefore, if God has given you a promise – any promise – He has given you all the evidence you need to know that the promise will come to pass. There is nothing you can do about it. Even when you think you’re going crazy in the wondering and the waiting, the promise is still on the way!

One of my favorite parts of The Santa Clause is the faith of Scott’s son, Charlie. He never wavers in his insistence that his dad is the new Santa. When people laugh at him, when his mom and new husband, a child psychiatrist, worry about him and threaten to keep him from seeing his father, he still maintains that he was there when his dad became Santa. His faith faith never fails. May we all take a lesson from that.

So, as you continue to clean up wrapping paper, cookie crumbs and go for just one more cup of coffee, remember that the Ultimate Giver of Gifts hasn’t forgotten about your present. He created an iron clad clause for Himself that He can’t get out of – not that He wants to anyway. There is nothing you have to do, nothing you can say, no way for you to mess up, your Christmas morning is coming.

It’s all in the fine print. 🙂

Have an amazing day while you wait!


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Pain, Crutches and Learning to Walk Anyway

Oh, wow! I still have a blog! I wish I had a better excuse for letting it get so dusty, but, the truth is, (as far as ministry is concerned) I just shut down. I stopped singing. I stopped writing. I stayed just involved enough to say I was there. Why? I guess because I forgot that I need the ministry God called me to just as much as anyone else. I’m made for encouraging, for lifting people up, for reminding them that God is not through with them and has wonderful plans for their lives. It’s amazing how often I forget that message myself.

*cue the reminder*

Just before Thanksgiving, my youngest daughter came home complaining of pain. She had fallen down in gym class and landed on her knee. Initially, everything seemed okay, but, when it hadn’t subsided two days later, we took her to the doctor to make sure there was no real damage. They did an x-ray and confirmed that everything was fine recommending that we bring her back in another two days should she still be uncomfortable.

Two days passed and she was still consistent in her complaints. We took her back and they suggested we see sports medicine. We met a lovely orthopedic doctor and Taylor giggled every time she heard his slight southern accent. He told me things about my daughter that I already knew – she’s extremely flexible. In fact, almost too flexible. She has more bend than she should and so he confidently diagnosed her with Pain Amplification Syndrome. He explained to me that there had been a soft tissue contusion in her knee, but, that it had since healed. However, because Taylor is so hyper-flexible, often her brain doesn’t get the signal that healing has already taken place and so she still legitimately feels pain because of the injury that was once there.

I once heard a pastor say that you will know someone should preaching if they can find a sermon in anything. I’ve often been accused of having that knack and this was no different. As I was listening to the doctor explain how this was possible, I was thinking of the spiritual connotation of that truth. How often has a Sunday morning sermon stirred us to the alter weeping and praying that God would heal us of a wound that stopped us from reaching our next level? We ask and He answers. But, the next time a similar sermon starts, the tears flow again and we go back again. Again asking for healing for the hurt that’s keeping us bound. Except that He already healed us from that…didn’t He?

I know that I am guilty of this. There are hurts and wounds in my life that have made it harder for me to want to dream or plan or ask or hope or expect anything more than the status quo. I’m normally okay with “give us this day our daily bread”, but, I pretty much leave it at that. To ask for more from God means I’ll eventually have to expect Him to answer. And yet every message on hope pulled me forward. I wanted so badly to be rid of this hurt…at least I thought I did.

My little girl is having a very hard time letting go of her crutches. Her physical therapist, doctors and our family are all trying to encourage her to put more weight on her leg and use her leg because the healing has taken place and it is ready to be used. We understand that the longer she doesn’t use it, the worse the pain will get and the harder it will be. But, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it! Part of that is fear and part of that is the fact that she’s grown accustomed to this new reality. She doesn’t want to not have her crutches no matter what she might miss out on because of them.

I see so much of myself when I think of that. Sometimes, it is so much scarier to lay down the crutches that have allowed to hurt to continue. It’s scary to walk in the healing you know is there – especially when your heart doesn’t feel it. That’s why I’ve been away for so long. I was holding on to my crutches and crying whenever someone tried to take them from me. I asked for God to heal the hurt inside of me and I firmly believe that He did, but to walk in that healing before I feel that healing? Do I have to?

The answer is, yes. I do have to. Because, that’s what faith is. It’s scary and it’s messy and it’s understanding that you won’t fall over when your feet hit the floor…even if you leave your crutches behind. So, that’s my early New Year’s Resolution. I’ve given my crutches back to my Physician because I understand that, whether I “feel” it or not, I don’t need them anymore. I can walk in this purpose that He’s given me because He will not allow my foot to slip (see Psalm 121:3). Day by day, I’m learning that I walk better and I’m capable of doing more than I thought.

Including remembering to update my blog.

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