Sometimes after a holiday weekend, the days that follow may seem to have lost some shine. Kind of feels not so “sparkly,” as the day before. Stark, bleak reality of life back to the grind, responsibilities looming. Trying to catch up from a few long celebrative days can even add some extra pressure. Things might look messy. Life can seem full.
Or sometimes the holiday passes and we feel like we were late to the party. Like the full celebration kind of got “missed.” Too hurried over. We didn’t get it all done, all those things we had intended to do. The “wish we could have’s and wish we would have’s” mount high.
Loneliness may linger, from broken relationships or loss. Shattered pieces of life can add more pain to the hurt in the big holiday moments. Like we’ve been forgotten. Or too deeply wounded.
Don't ever doubt. His heart is for you. In the big, festive days and in the days that follow too. In the times of joy, and the times of brokenness, through it all, He longs to give grace and pour out His love.
Yet sometimes we forget.
I was reminded of a time recently when my husband had taken our kids shopping for my birthday. I heard them come in the door, and my daughter quickly found me, brimming over with excitement, "Mom," she breathed, "We found you some surprises for your birthday, but don't even ask me what they are, because I am not going to tell you."
"I'm not telling you what it is, but I will say only this - it has a beautiful heart that goes like this," she gushed on, showing me the design with her hands, "and it goes right here," she pointed around her neck, "but I can't talk about Mom, so don't ask me anything else!"
She then disappeared for a moment, but quickly came back.
"And I will show you just this one thing, but don't ask anything else, right here Mom is the sparkly little box that it goes in, but I'm not showing you what's in it!" She held it up proudly.
Sparkly box held lovingly in sweet hands, she couldn't wait to give her gift, to "surprise" me. Smile.
Often I think maybe God may feel like my sweet Gracie did that day, longing to give us that "gift," something for which we've prayed and longed for, knowing the exact day it is to be given, wanting to remind us He has a plan in it all. And though we can't see how it all will unfold, He knows, and can hardly wait for it to be ours. He's keeping safe all the "sparkly boxes" for just the right moment. To give. He loves to give good gifts to us. He loves to lavish love over us.
Maybe sometimes we feel forgotten, or that we've missed it, or wasted too much time. Yet God in His grace and goodness whispers our way, "There's more in store...I have more still ahead...I can't wait for you to see..." If we're still living and breathing air today, we can be assured, He still has more.
I read to the end of the book this morning, in John. About what happened after the big event, after Jesus rose. And I’m reminded in the midst of today, after a holiday weekend, that feels rather messy and not so special...the story didn't stop.
He still had more words, even after the Resurrection. He still has more words, even today. It continues. Now, through us. His spirit still moves. That gives such hope to keep pressing onward, finding the good in every single day. Sometimes the most important messages and gifts for life are found not only in the big celebration days, but after, in the midst of the mess, the silence, the waiting, and the broken stuff.
Like sparkly boxes that still wait to be opened. His whispers come.
Deeply grateful...for life in Christ, for His surprises given to us, out of sheer grace and goodness. I'm sure you feel much the same when you look around and realize how many treasures surround you that money could never buy.
Thankful for our Lord, who holds great gifts, sparkly boxes in loving hands.
He is big God...and does great things, for us, in us, "...if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25
One amazing Savior.
And the story continues...
Moving forward today…with expectation, gratefulness, and joy...towards all that still awaits.
I hope you are too.
"Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you..." Ps. 31:19
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory...forever..." Eph. 3:20-21
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://www.freshdayahead.com and Twitter.