This Time of Year (2021 Holidays)

Throughout time I’ve often publicly stated “One of the few good things I remember about my younger days…” and I did and do mean it when I say it. I have few joyful memories of my youth. Then again I have met, read and heard so many people who make my own life look like a breeze, cake with ice cream and unlimited cherries on top.

Yet as the years go by and I re-think, consider at a deeper level, even ponder long-held snapshots of my growing up years in rural Wisconsin, then very small towns, a suburb of it’s largest city and finally inner-city experiences and this even prior to coming to saving faith in Jesus, I can now recall other times, good times, times of warmth. The grace of God was with me even then though I would never have called it that then… and sometimes not until years later!

Even in my Dad’s illness, family breakup via divorce, the poverty and man was it COLD every winter… I recall the occasional fun family outings swimming, hanging out with friends in the summers. At this time of year I recall a few super cool Christmas presents, the warmth of fires, Christmas cookies, beautiful blizzards and playing in snowdrifts with my big chocolate-colored dog named Fritz.

There WERE moments of warmth even in the coldest days and nights. Not many, but some.

I lived through it all, learned hard but needful lessons about human beings, both how not to be one and later, how to at least attempt self-control, receive and give grace. I’m still learning all this of course…

Prior to winter came autumn leaves, plowed corn and grain fields, hunting seasons, eventually ice-fishing seasons. I -did- eat so much fish in those poor days I got quite sick of eating ’em, but that passed as the years went by.

Those golden sunrises and sunsets were and continue to be a reminder, the change of seasons, calendar dates, each new harvest of many sorts -in Thanksgiving and Christmas times I do recall more than cold, loss and loneliness.

Perhaps, dear reader, you do also -or will as time moves on.

I do not discount pain, a deep hurt of “not feeling like I belong”, even the right and proper sense of lament (the Psalms are loaded with such prayer-lyrics!!). I understand how some of you feel and find hard to shake off seasons of emptiness and sorrow when many around you seem to be rejoicing in provision, blessing and hope. I don’t play blues music for no reason.

Yet and still -if you can see this to read, hear this to listen, relate to any of the UPsides I’ve mentioned here, you have gotten UNdeserved favor -that term GRACE means something and it’s in your life regardless of where you read or hear this message.

The Giver of all good graces loves you. He has moved in my heart to love others (imperfectly and flawed as I do it, this I fully admit) and believe me, THAT is grace and the hand of God in a world so in need of Him, often so numb, so blind, so deaf to His reach of mercy and kindness even in the midst of our pain and lack.

I do not deny the reality of deep, real pain and loss. I also by God’s grace refuse to cement myself, to continually camp in such a state! My feelings, emotions, even memory are not beyond healing. I don’t believe yours are either.

Faith, hope and love are huge gifts from God to us. Indeed, “God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” -Romans 12.3b “For God –soloved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” -John 3.16

If you think a bit about it I believe you’ll discover good gifts have come your way even in the midst of dark days.

Grace and not only loss have been part of your life, tell yourself the truth about this!

As difficult as loss of a spouse, a family member, friend, health issues, financial needs and uncertainties of life are there is a God Who so desires to walk with you throughout both here and hereafter. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Comforter” for good reason!

How often we look elsewhere to find peace, comfort and to be filled?!

He is as close as the wind, as near as our very breath.

And as always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

2 thoughts on “This Time of Year (2021 Holidays)

  1. Dear Glenn Nice read…can relate strongly, Be 68 soon, lived an outlaw biker for many years. Now my I pray for those from those years, sickness , death , lostness. I still ride. We have talked a little through the years by text and at Cornerstone, which I attended some 20 years… Peace and Grace. Mike

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