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Experience the living joy of Christmas

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I wish all of you could see the area around the space where I write my articles. I think I might be trapped!

Scissors and paper are on the floor as well as dropped and scattered paper clips. Ribbon, tape, tags and partially wrapped boxes are on a card table set up to my right.

My desk is piled up with quotes, legal pads, receipts, notes to myself, and my calendar screaming at me with some more things to do.

Oops! I found three more pair of scissors and the stamps I was missing!

Yes, it is chaos. However, there is my grandmother’s old sign on the wall above my desk that reads, “I know the Lord will make a way for me.”

That is good news, because He might need to help me find a path out of this room!

Christmas is the time of year we all get a bit crazy amid some chaos. I am a Christmas crazy person. I love the whole experience.  The smells of fresh baked cookies, the hope for snowflakes, the sparkling eyes of children, the parties and family gatherings.

I overdo, over decorate, over buy, over eat, and by the time it is over, am over tired. Will I change? Heck no.

When I meet a Bah Humbug person, I get all flustered. I want to slap a candy cane in their mouth and shut them up! I can’t understand why people complain about Christmas at all.

Yes, Christmas can become too commercial, and yes it requires some work, but that’s okay because it is up to us to find the happiness within it. And, here is the deal, we need to be happy about it.

Christmas brought us the greatest gift we could ever imagine.

Christmas gave us Christ.

Christ taught us to give, to love, and to work hard at giving and loving. He taught us that all things that are good are worth the trouble.

The cookies that we bake are worth the trouble because we do so out of love. The gift that we find the perfect ribbon for is worth the trouble because we love the person we are giving it to. Our joy is worth the trouble to reach for because He gave us the joy in the first place.

We all celebrate the birth of the baby born in Bethlehem, but that child grew up to teach us just who He really was. And, who He is today.

Christ didn’t just live, He never died. That is the joy.

We become so wrapped up in our lives and what is happening around us that we lose sight that there is a living God in the middle of it all.

I know I do. I sometimes forget that the Lord is sitting right in the middle of my messy room. I hope He can get out! Yikes!

The living Christ brings abundant joy and hope to us. If we are Christians, it is up to each of us to spread that joy. Christmas is the reminder to do just that.

The Smoky Mountains of Tennessee are a place that is near and dear to my heart. My frontier family crossed into Tennessee through those mountains and many settled there.

When the fires broke out I watched in horror. So many lives lost, so many homes and businesses destroyed, and the beauty of the forest charred and changed.

Dollywood and Gatlinburg were perilously close to burning. All most anyone could do was pray.

You wonder amid such devastation where God is? Why do bad things happen if God is among us?

Well, I guess it is because we do not live in paradise. If life were paradise here, then we wouldn’t seek it there. Also, have you ever wondered how much more devastation there would be if God wasn’t among it?

Isaac McCord, a 24-year-old University of Tennessee graduate, was helping clean up Dollywood after the fire. He saw two pieces of paper under a park bench.

He lifted them up and noticed they were torn and charred. He recognized the paper came from the Bible, so he carefully put the pieces together and it read:

“O Lord to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness. ‘

Joel 1:19-20 King James Version

Now, the Bah Humbugs of the world might cast doubt on this story. However, I choose to believe in a living God that walks among us who reminds us, many times over, that He is alive and well.

I will celebrate the birth of the Lord on Christmas, but more importantly I will do the best I can to celebrate the Living Christ today and if He will show me a way out of this office, I might even bake Him a cookie or two, or even a pan full.

He is worth the trouble.

 

Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former LaGrange resident who currently resides in Roswell. She may be reached at lwgendusa@bellsouth.net.