Eph. 6:10-14a (NIV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…
I woke up ready to fight, but not the same fight as yesterday. Today, I reject the lies of depression and inadequacy. I put on the full armor of God, starting with truth. I am beautifully and wonderfully made by The Creator (Ps. 139:13-14) and in His image (Gen. 1:27). His design is evidenced in me! Will you join me in this fight against the darkness of this world?
This season is bittersweet. I miss the hoopla my mother would put together for Christmas Eve: Gingerbread cookies, cut-out and frosted sugar cookies, Chex mix, fudge, divinity, Rice Krispies treats and many other delicious delights would fill the dining table. My father would gather the family and read the story of Jesus’ birth. We would sing Christmas hymns, play cards, and eat the tasty treats. In case we had guests, Mom always made more than enough goodies. When there were leftovers she would groan, “Oh, I made too much!”
Christmas is quite different now. Between COVID restrictions, decision and death, many family members are missing this Christmas. Let us focus on what is here and now. Like the twinkle in the eyes of children beholding sparkling lights and decorations, the joy of singing Christmas carols, and being able to video conference with loved ones.
My own children are adults and our traditions have changed as loved ones have relocated to other cities, states, countries or even heaven. It’s ironic that as a young married couple my husband and I wanted to create our own traditions, but now that our parents have passed we miss the traditions of our youth. God’s traditions are stable, unchanging. His love, mercy and grace are the same yesterday, today and forever. As we experience the strangest Christmas season of our lifetime, let us remember Christ came to earth as a baby, He bore our sins and died a horrible death on a cross to give us eternal life. This will not change. Jesus loves us with an everlasting love.
It can be a struggle to stay focused on God especially with current national and world events. Even when we cannot sense His presence, He is here, there, and everywhere. Our flesh can block us from knowing His presence, but as we put on His armor, truth sets us free from the lies of darkness. Alas, perfection is not of this earth and we will still have times of depression.
I will have times when I wonder if I’m going down into the dark pit of depression again. When I do, I cry out to God, grab hold of His robe and He grabs me by the scruff of the neck. Papa making sure I don’t get lost. God created us in His image, including emotions. He understands and faithfully holds us closer even when we cannot see His face or feel His presence. So let’s begin today and fight for God’s truth. Will you join me?