Christmas was a lovely whirlwind of visiting and entertaining which lasted for 5 days for our family. Whew! Several days and several pounds later, I am looking forward to some peace and quiet.
I am very aware of how blessed I am to have family and friends to spend these holidays with. My daughters and I went caroling at a local nursing home to try to spread some cheer, and managed to deliver homemade cookies to some of our neighbors (an annual event, which the neighbors have come to anticipate and enjoy.) On our recent trip to Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to stop and talk to a young homeless woman and pray with her. I can only imagine how she had come to that place, perhaps she had run away from an abusive situation, or had gotten involved in drugs. I don't know. I only know the desperation and sadness I saw in her eyes. But for the grace of God, couldn't that have maybe been me, in another time or place? One wrong decision, or having been born into an unfortunate family situation.... Yes, that young woman could have been me, or someone I know...
I say all of this not to pat myself on the back for my good works. The truth is, the more I do, the more acutely I am aware of my own inadequacies. I will never be able to do "enough". For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
Thank God for His mercy and grace. Thank God that wherever and whenever I am inadequate and lacking wholeness, He heals, strengthens, and completes me. In the years since I became a Christian, God has been transforming me, smoothing out my rough edges, filling in the holes. It used to be, when I met someone who was a Christian and was really kind and caring, I thought that they got into "the club" (ie church) because they were so nice. Now I know that it is just the opposite- God takes us just the way we are- dirty, covered with warts, so far from perfect- and transforms us.
I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I was! He will keep working on me, because He loves me too much to leave me where I am. He loves you, too.
Blessings of love, peace, hope and joy to all.