After reading Myquillyn Smith’s philosophy about how lamp light can “sprinkle some cozy” and improve the mood of a room, especially in the winter, I put on my shoes, grab the car keys and my purse, and skedaddle myself off to the Home Goods store.
With the sky-climbing Rockies just to the west of us, it gets dark mighty early this time of year. So, upon considering Myquillyn’s home perspective, I found it absolutely imperative that I infuse a little light into a couple dark corners of our home.
And really, it’s been several months of finding it absolutely imperative to infuse a little light into the dark corners of my life.
Alas, I find no right-sized lamps at Home Goods or Target. After driving back home, I hop online and order two discounted lamps that fit the bill for what the space, specifically our sunroom, needs.
After ordering the lamps, I close my laptop and look out the window. The Golden Hour is straining to hold onto its last few rays of light, and I’m straining to hold onto the light this Christmas time when so many things look differently than in Christmases past.
Some of what looks different are good things–favorable changes. But there are several more that barged through my front door without permission or invitation, and they brought loss and limitations as they’ve long since overstayed their welcome.
And those changes exposed still more expectations I’ve been carrying.
The limitations of COVID that we experienced in the spring, summer, and fall will likely be with us this Advent and Christmas, too. We can’t travel where we thought we could. We can’t necessarily be with those we want to be with. And even if some things are possible, not all things are advisable–depending on who you ask.
For some of us, the limitations extend to the worst of losses, the kind that make our Christmas traditions and celebrations look different not just this year, but every future year to come.
I think we’re all a little desperate for the light.
Centuries ago, a people, too, were desperate for the light when a baby’s birth changed everything–although not the way they had planned:
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” ~Matthew 1:23
The people expected a king in a palace, and who arrived was a King in a stable.
The people expected power and might, and who showed up was meek and humble.
The people expected one who would poise Himself over them in majesty, and who appeared was Immanuel, God with us.
Without this big change from long ago, we wouldn’t have Jesus today.
Without this big change from long ago, we wouldn’t have the presence of God like never before today.
Sometimes, in order to accept difficult change, it helps to flip it over and allow the expectations we’re holding be exposed. Change always exposes expectations. And if we can dare to release those expectations? It might make room for other good things–better things–God has for us.
Because even in the worst of change and loss, God is still for us.
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