“The only people who grow old are those who were born old–You were born young.” Dudley–The Bishop’s Wife
The end of this Christmas Season brings us the beginning of a new decade. Nothing juxtaposes old and new so much as the New Year holidays. Coupled with the above, these additional quotes from The Bishop’s Wifeallow us to peer into the timeless struggle between aging, beauty, wisdom and significance:
“The world changes but two things remain constant–Youth and Beauty”
“If you want to know about a woman, ask the old men. They know”
Scripture acknowledges that we humans experience frustrations accompanied with aging while reminding us we can have a relationship with the One who is ever of old but never grows old.
Listen to me you descendants of Jacob.. you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:3-4
If you’re anything like me, today, Christmas Day, has a poignant significance for you. The implication that on this date 2000 years ago “God and sinners (were) reconciled” is enough to change the Christian’s life forever. But there are plenty other people who struggle with the fact and idea of this season. No doubt Christmas is an emotional holiday. Obviously throughout this blog I’ve been writing as a fan of Christmas , and for the past 4 weeks or so waiting for today.
And when it finally gets here– while living the dream –we may worry that our hearts will feel a little bit broken tomorrow. Lord knows that among the stores and radio stations touting the importance of the date up til now, there is a shockingly abrupt end to the celebration on December 26. We will miss the music, the lights, the exclamations of goodwill so stimulating in December and so absent in January. A priority of this blog has been to emphasize the relevance of Christmas upon every month of the year in order to anticipate the season. Today’s blog is written to extend this same season. My friend Teresa’s father points out that the holidays extend from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day so that gives us a little more time to enjoy the sights and sounds for awhile. Although referred to frequently throughout these posts the following quote paired with transcendent Scripture merits another look.
With intentional meditation on the events of Christmas past, we can keep a Christmas frame of mind well past the season. For more on pondering the season and maintaining a Christmas frame of mind see the following post from January 6, 2019.
“It’s very important to keep promises–especially to yourself” Elizabeth lane Christmas inConnecticut
This Christmas get to know Jesus the Real Reason for the Season–He is so anxious to explain how He’s kept all of the promises He’s made to you. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in (Christ Jesus) 2 Corinthians 1;20
For more on what the Bible has to say about promises See posts from June 26, 2019 and November 27, 2018
“I just got a bust in the jaw in answer to a prayer a little bit ago.”
“Oh no no no George- I’m the answer to your prayer!”
Last November 25, 2018 in a post entitled Lessons on Intercession from It’s a Wonderful Life, I used this quote to write about the surprising answers we get when we pray. I’m always interested in enriching my prayer life and excerpts from the following Devotional readings in 2019 divulge the possibility of realizing God’s perspective on our petitions.
Last Spring, Moody’s Today in the Word (May 11) wrote specifically about verse 8 in a passage from Revelation 5:1-14, ” …the four Living Creatures and the twenty four elders fell before the Lamb each holding a harp and golden bowls each full of incense which are the prayers of the saints.”
“Interestingly, verse 8 doesn’t say that the incense represents the prayers of the saints but rather that it is their prayers. What a beautiful picture of how Christ must view our prayers–not as whining or nagging but like a pleasing aroma. When we worship we do not imitate heavenly worship–we join worship already underway, adding our voices to that of the living creatures and elders, angels and the rest of creation.”
Then in Autumn, one of my favorite authors commented on the following verse:
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry came to His ears.” 2 Samuel: 22:7
In Letters to Malcolm:Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis states,”…if our prayers are granted at all they are granted from the foundation of the world. Intercourse between God and man occurs at particular moments for the man but not for God. If there is an adaptation between the free actions of men in prayer and the course of events, this adaptation is from the beginning inherent in the great single creative act. Our prayers are heard… not only before we make them but before we are made ourselves.”
Just last month, I came across this devotional in a scheduled reading plan very soon after I had requested that God would reveal more of His greatness to me. In retrospect, this is not a surprising answer to my prayer. I grew up praying God is great, God is good… That the Creator can and would consider my supplications into his eternal plan, exposing not only his greatness but his kind desire to have relationship with me, is only a token portion of his omnipotence.
Another full year has come and gone and I’m still practicing and learning to pray. Last year These 2 devotional readings shifted my concentration away from myself and onto God when I pray. What have you learned to think or do that has elevated your prayer life? How has God answered your prayers during the past year?