Grumbling is not a part of Advent1
I don’t know about anyone else, but I found my heart full of grumbling leading up to Thanksgiving. I was grumpy about not being able to have who I wanted to have over for Thanksgiving. Then I was even grumpier when I realized I could not have anyone outside my ‘bubble’ over. And then on top of that, I began to realize that Christmas could very well be a repeat of this. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
I often hear people try to chase away grumbling by saying something like "well, there are others who have it worse than me, so I need to be thankful for what I have." While that may be true, that just does not seem like the right attitude or solution to my grumbling. Comparison with others just leads to more grumbling, it seems to me......
Are you depressed yet?
There is good news. God is doing a work in my heart. He saw my selfishness and is replacing it with the reality of His infinite kindness and goodness. He saw my grief and is replacing it with satisfaction in Him. He saw my disappointment and is replacing it with joy for who He is and what these seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas really mean. He saw my desire and need to have people appreciate me and is replacing it with the desire to praise Him. He sees my longing to worship in the sanctuary with the Body of Christ at ECC and is replacing it with sweet times of fellowship with Himself in the mornings and kind words and meaningful times with brothers and sisters in other ways.
Notice that I did not say that God “has replaced” all of my feelings above. God is still at work. Philippians 1:6 is true – He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion – not next week – but at the day of Christ Jesus. And not just in me, but in you, and in our world. I got trapped in my own small world of disappointment and worry and selfishness for too long and I am grateful to have a renewed sense of God’s presence and purpose growing in me.
I am now taking one day at a time, one hurdle at a time. I don't want Advent to be a repeat of the days leading up to Thanksgiving in my heart. I don’t yet know what Christmas day will look like at my house. I do know it will not be typical, with a table full of people and lots of hugging. But I am no longer grumbling (well, not all the time anyway). I am waiting. I am waiting to see what God will do in my heart. I am waiting to celebrate the true Joy of Christmas – the coming of the Son. I am waiting to open His word each morning to see what He has for me there. I am waiting, and working on not grumbling. I am looking for the light of Advent,
Join me in waiting, won’t you? How are you observing Advent this year – is it different than in past years? What will you do to let God turn your grumbling into joy?