Praising through Frustration

Dec. 28, 2012

The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told. – Luke 2:20

How often do things happen in your life “just as you have been told” they would? My experience is not very often.

Today, my mother-in-law had a procedure at the hospital. Yesterday, Rick was told it would happen between 9 AM and 1 PM. About 7 AM this morning, we called the nurse’s station to find out if a more exact time had been determined. The nurse told us 1:30 PM. Rick and I went ahead with other things we planned to do today. About 9 AM, Rick’s sister called and said the procedure was going to be earlier. Within a half-hour, she called back and said Rick’s mom was being prepped for the procedure! We knew we would not make it to the hospital before she went in for the procedure.

Sometimes we get frustrated when we ask God for certain things to happen in a specific timeframe. Yet, for the shepherds, this is one time when things happened as described. In fact, exactly what the shepherds were told happened. End of story.

When things do not happen as expected, do you give up on God? Honestly, it is easy to do. We think God may have abandoned us. We wonder if God hears our prayers and thoughts.

Other times, things turn out better than we would ever expect. When this happens, do we thank God and are appreciative? Why is it so much easier to be upset when things don’t turn out as we’d like then when we are pleasantly surprised? When this happens do we glorify and praise God?

I have come realized that I am glad I don’t know exactly what is going to happen in the future. What I pray I will not forget is that Emmanuel, God is with me, every day.

How easily frustrated we become when our time table is not followed, Lord God. We quickly blame you. And yet when things turn out so much better than we could have anticipated, we fall short of praising you and your understanding of a situation more than we do. May we never fail to praise and glorify your name. Amen.

Blessings –



Dec. 27, 2012

Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully.

– Luke 2:19

Last weekend while at my parents, I ran across this book my Mom is filling out for my niece. It’s a book where she records some of her favorite memories. Memories about her childhood, her parents, her siblings, her work, how she met my Dad, how life has changed during her lifetime. I think it is important and special that my Mom finish filling in this little book.

I loved hearing stories and memories from my Grandmother. Near her 100th birthday, I took her to a long lunch and ask her question after question about her life. This developed in a short biography available at her 100th birthday. I still read these stories and memories and recall my Grandmother telling me them.

When Rick shares about raising his family as a single parent, he often says that while they often didn’t have a lot, he wanted his kids to have great memories from their years growing up. I believe he accomplished this, based on the stories the kids share when we are together.

My, oh my, the memories Mary had from that first Christmas Eve night. I can only imagine her wanting to etch the images and details, the sights and smells, the emotions and feeling in her heart. This would allow her to remember all of these when at a later date, someone asked her what it was like to give birth to the Messiah.

Throughout Luke’s gospel, there is significant symbolism. The mere fact that so much time and attention is given to Mary’s side of this story is huge, considering women basically were not allowed voices in Hebrew culture. When Luke’s gospel was written, it seems Mary or someone very close to her shared all the details of this story. Thanks be to God someone had a good memory so these details can be shared with us, 2,000 years later.

There are moments in our lives when we do not want to ever forget the important details of the day. How we appreciate and value the details of the Christmas story and how Mary shared these with someone so we can all benefit from this story. May we commit to memory and treasure significant times of our spiritual journeys.  Encourage us to treasure memories more than possessions. Amen.

Blessings –