Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Panoramas

The other day I was reading an excerpt from the "Streams in the Desert" devotional. I would like to share a story that watered my soul.

"There was once a mother who brought a crippled boy with a hunched back into her home as a companion to her own son.She warned her son to be very careful not to refer to the other boy's deformity, since this was a sensitive matter to him. And she encouraged him to play with his new friend as if he were a normal child. But after listening to her son play with him for a few minutes, she heard him ask his companion, "Do you know what that is on your back?" The crippled boy was embarrassed, hesitated a moment, but before he could respond,his friend answered the question for him by saying, "It is the box that holds your wings, and someday God is going to break it open, and you will fly away to be an angel."

This story is an excellent and inspiring example of how our perspectives can either enrich our lives or harden out hearts. We all have some type of disfigurement in our lives. What is your deformity? It may not be a visible hump on your back. However, it could be something more hidden from the view of others. It could be a disappointment you have just encountered or a worry you are carrying around concerning your future. Maybe you are struggling this holiday season with depression and you feel no hope. Whatever it may be, consider a panorama.

A panorama is an unbroken view.When you stand on top of a mountain, there is nothing to block the scene before you. Here in Arizona, I can walk out of my back door and see a clear panorama of endless sky. Be encouraged that whatever your defect, do not let it blind you to the vista before you. Your very weakness is probably the hunch of your heart getting ready to break open into a field of blessing. Keep watching the panorama, the view beyond your present trouble.

Jesus is the bread of life, yet He was broken. He arose from death so that we too can arise from the dust of our broken and bruised hearts. In the devotion from "Streams in the Desert, there is a very profound statement. "Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer for the roots of character, for character is the only thing we carry with us into eternity.And gaining as much of the highest character possible is the purpose of our trials." Austin Phelps

Morning Bagel: It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these people to glory. Hebrews 2:10 (The Message Bible)

Daily Hug:It is amazing at times we can get so caught up in worldly wisdom. We tend to think we are blessed because things are going well. And then we sometimes look at a sister or brother in Christ who is struggling and wonder, "What are they doing wrong?" When we look at the true Pioneer of Salvation, Jesus Christ, we can see the opposite. We gain a totally different view or perspective. Jesus suffered many things such as rejection, misunderstanding, betrayal, shame, loneliness, grief, disappointment, ridicule, shame, mocking, and much more. His suffering was a blessing in which we as God's children reap the benefits. No matter what you are going through, take time to gaze upon the panorama of God's truth and the beauty of Christ's birth. Take hold of the view and know that the benefits are the by product of hardship suffered for you.

"The mountain of vision is won by no other road than the one covered by thorns." Streams in the Desert

Father, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to walk the road covered with thorns. Even His birth was in a filthy uncomfortable setting. Yet Glory was birthed in that most unpleasant place. Help me to not despise the places of struggle in my life and may Christmas be even more special to me this year as you clear my vision of what You are all about. I thank you for the hunches, knots and deformities of my life. I can be confident in knowing that beauty will come from the toughest of places. I trust you Father . In Jesus Name. Amen.

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