Girlfriends in God - Nov. 13, 2008

November 13, 2008 
On Our Way Home 
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Friend to Friend 
Have you noticed how hard "re-entry" is? 

One of my favorite movies is “Apollo 13” in which we first heard those famous words, “Houston, we have a problem”, an understatement, to say the least.  The astronauts faced seemingly impossible odds of getting back to earth but refused to give up the fight until they splashed down in the waters of home.

Life is much the same. We are often thrust into a daily life of foreign and often frightening worlds, shaky circumstances, and impossible trials with no obvious way of escape. It seems like we will never get home and our world will never be right again. 

I have discovered a truth that surfaces in my heart every Christmas holiday.  We all come into this world with a sense of being lost. Tucked into the corner of our souls is a feeling of restlessness...a longing for home, for something eternal.  That longing will never be satisfied outside of a relationship with Him!  God holds each today and every tomorrow in His hands.  Nobody and nothing can fill the “God-shaped” hole in our heart. 

I have come to cherish that desperate heart cry that drives me to my knees and into the lap of my Father!  Each and every time I come to Him, He whispers, "It will be all right. You are not home - yet." 

I do not want this broken and torn world to be my final home, but merely a place I am passing through.  While I am here, I have a God-sized job to do, an extraordinary mission to complete and a wonderful purpose to fulfill.  Is that awesome or what?  Absolutely!  But it is only the beginning of the eternity for which I was created.  It doesn't get any better than that, my friends. 

So as you dive into your hectic schedule, remember that one day, we will be home - with Him - but until then, let's celebrate here! Guard your hearts and mind by filling them with God’s Word.  Hold fast to the true meaning of the season and don’t let go!  Look for ways to share the message of the manger, embracing that longing for home as a sweet reminder that one day we will celebrate His birth in Heaven.  What a Christmas that will be!  And we are on our way home!

Let’s pray
Oh God, I love You and am so thankful for the hope that eternity holds because I know You.  I am not alone, nor will I ever be. I will lack nothing because You are my Provider.  I can sing in the midst of the storm because You are sufficient. I praise You and long for Home.  But while I’m here, help me to be all that You created me to be.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever experienced loneliness or a sense of loss during or after the Christmas season?  I encourage you to prepare for it beforehand.  The best way to get ready for a difficult time is to stay ready for a difficult time.  In other words, now is the time to prepare your heart and mind for the holidays.  

  • Make time each day to be alone with God. 
  • Pour out your dreams and desperation to Him. 
  • Read Psalm 23 once a day. 
  • Invest at least 15 minutes in solitude each day, allowing your soul to “catch up.” 
  • Make a list of the top five joy thieves in your life and make a plan to eliminate them.  
  • Prayerfully choose five verses of Scripture about peace.  Write these verses on a 3X5 card and carry it with you through the holidays, referring to it while you wait in line, while you are stuck in traffic, at every meal, etc.  Consider doing the same as a family project.
  • After the holidays are over, evaluate the difference this preparation made in your holiday celebration. 

More From The Girlfriends 
Do not allow anyone or anything to steal your joy as you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!  The choice is in your hands.  Need help?  Check out Mary’s new bible study, God’s Answer to Stress, and let it help you make this holiday season the best one of your life as you learn to manage stress instead of allowing it to manage you.  Blessings. 

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Thursday, 13 November 2008.