They seem to be around every corner.
We Americans are a bizarre people.
We celebrate all through December, eating cookie after cookie and sipping on punch after punch; but come January, we act like the whole thing was a mistake.
Suddenly, we go into detox mode and begin refusing all the things we so recently craved.
Turns out, too much of a good thing just isn’t a good thing.
“…His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’.”- Lamentations 3:22-23
I am learning more and more about this word as time goes on; sensing that it is not a noun but rather a verb. Most words in God’s kingdom require action. The beauty of this is that almost every time, the doing is His and not our own. We cannot muster up the ability to be mercy to those around us; only God Himself is able.
As I looked up the definition of mercy, a synonym grabbed my attention.
This thing, this thing we always attempt to leave behind come January; it is a command of God.
The key is to indulge in that which doesn’t fade.
“But God, being rich in mercy…”- Ephesians 2:4
God. The Ultimate Indulger. The One who so freely gives and gives and gives some more. Mercy doesn’t stop and His name is Jesus.
In a few weeks, the decorations will come down, the familiar songs will cease playing on the radio, and many people will begin to make goals for the coming year.
My challenge to you?
Instead of giving up indulging altogether; begin indulging in the things that matter to God.
Indulge your mind, heart, spirit, and body in His Word.
Indulge others with the grace that only He can give.
Indulge your community with action as you become His hands, feet, and heart to a watching and hurting world.
Indulge the broken with words of hope and healing.
The truth is, when we consume ourselves with Him and His glory, we will find we are not consumed by trivial matters that don’t have eternal significance.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
In 2016, may we be a people that fix our eyes on the unseen.
May we indulge ourselves and the world with the grace and peace that comes through Christ and Christ alone. May we find ourselves filled to overflow, no detox required, as we embrace the adventure He has called each of us to live in the coming year. Verbs, not nouns, shining a Light that the darkness could not and can’t and will never overcome.
He is able.
“It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mudpies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”- C.S. Lewis