Christmas morning I went to great lengths to ensure my family had a special beginning to their day. Being a Sunday, my family had to be mindful of the time so my husband could get to the church on time to open the doors and we could all be in our places for the 10:30 worship service. Not only that, but my son Daniel would be flying out to visit his grandparents that afternoon. We had to make sure he was packed and everyone was ready to go immediately after James’ last Amen.
But I still wanted us to experience all the wonderful family traditions surrounding Christmas morning. We’d have to exclaim over Santa’s deliveries, rifle through the stockings, and sit down to our annual breakfast of bacon, eggs, and, most importantly, monkey bread.
That’s where everything fell apart.
Somewhere between oohing and aahing over the Santa loot and sitting down to breakfast, the house filled with smoke. Filled. With. Smoke.
I had overloaded the bunt pan with buttery, sugary dough balls, and as they rose in the hot oven, the buttery, sugary goo dripped to the bottom of the oven and smoke ensued.
And I came unglued.
We had to open the windows to the freezing outside air, our dog Benji hid under the Christmas tree and refused to come out, and I…wept.
We sat down to eat the monkey bread–blackened on top, doughy in the middle–and Daniel, the one who looks forward to the cinnamon bread the most each year, refused to eat any. I wept. But I couldn’t blame him. Indeed, it was a mess.
Do you ever go to great measures to bless only to wind up with a mess instead? Do you ever pour out to others only to find yourself sitting in the puddles of your misguided efforts? Do you ever serve, love, give, or minister only to find that someone has misinterpreted your actions and rejected your offering?
Or maybe you’ve worked hard, served diligently, given graciously, and bent…over..backwards…to no avail. Nothing came of it. Or so it seemed.
Maybe you’ve spent precious hours on your knees in prayer and you’ve yet to see any answers, any action.
Maybe you feel like all of your efforts have been wasted. Whether the recipients of your deeds were ungrateful, unaware, unaffected, or simply unresponsive, you feel you got the shaft.
Just after Christmas, as I continued to wallow in self-pity over a well-planned Christmas morning gone terribly wrong, the Lord graciously gave me a Word. I just love it when He does that. I’d like to share it with you. Maybe it will encourage and re-energize you, too.