And I think God deals with the same thing in us. He tries to lead us into a better way of life; better choices; an abundant life. But this kind of life has its challenges. It's very difficult to deny ourselves; our selfish motivations; our own agendas and embrace God's way. God knows His way will bring us so much fulfillment and contentment that, if we do choose His way, we will be so very thankful. But this result isn't immediate. It takes work to do it God's way. It takes courage. It takes holding onto His Words when everything around you tells you God's way will never work.
And so often a lot of us don't choose God's way. We choose the comfortable way. We choose what we always fall back on. And I think this makes God sad -- not sad for Him, but sad for us. He knows how we would soar through the heavens, but we choose to crawl through the mud instead. There's no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1) but there will be a wistfulness when thinking about what life could have been like if we had chosen God's way.
All is not lost. We can always turn to God at any moment in our lives. We can even be in the middle of following our own ways and in the middle of some mess we created because we put ourselves first. And in that mess we can cry out to our Father and He will raise us up and He can amazingly make our mess into something so beautiful that it will be woven into His plan and bring Him glory.
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. I don't know what Christmas is like in the Southern Hemisphere but I love that here in the Northern Hemisphere we celebrate Jesus' birth at the coldest and darkest time of the year. It bring joy and hope and love when we could instead be overcome by darkness. Thank you Lord. And may we all choose to follow God's way (even when it is really hard to do).