Excuse Me, God?

by Tama Fortner

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

Ummm . . . excuse me, God? I don’t mean to complain, but things aren’t really working out quite the way I had planned. I mean, I know Your plans are perfect, of course. But I had this vision of how the holidays were going to go this year . . . and, well, they’re not going that way at all.

The Christmas tree fell over. Twice, Lord! My kids have decided they don’t like hot cocoa or frosting cookies or singing carols. And nobody’s wearing the color-coordinated sweaters, except the dog—and he just barfed on the carpet.

So, I’m wondering if maybe, well, I don’t know . . . maybe there’s been a mistake? [Sigh.] No, that couldn’t be it. I’m the one who makes mistakes, not You. It’s just that, well . . . [another sigh] . . . okay. I’m sorry, God. Let me try this again.

You are good. You are God. And You’ve got this. Even when “this” isn’t what I imagined. Please show me the good, God. Show me the beautiful. And most of all, show me You.

Do you ever find yourself having this kind of conversation with God? (Tell me I’m not alone in this.)

There are days when I totally nail this whole following God thing. (Okay, there are moments, not days.) But I have to confess there are many more days when I don’t. Mishaps, mistakes, interruptions, and frustrations so easily pull my thoughts into worry, doubt, questions, and even complaining. Instead of capturing those thoughts and turning them over to God, I let them spin around in my mind like the fan blades pulling the burnt-Christmas-cookie smoke out of my kitchen.

Then, when I finally do get around to talking to God, I’m afraid I sound more like a little girl stomping her foot than the grown woman of faith I’m trying to be.

As I lay it all at His feet, though, His Spirit stirs in me. He gently takes my chaos and offers calm. With infinite patience, He teaches me that the frustrations and interruptions are actually opportunities to shine His light and love and grace into the lives of those I love and into the world. And He weaves my mistakes, mishaps, and even downright sins into His perfect plan to make me more like Him. Beauty from the ashes of those burnt-to-a-crisp cookies. By the end of our talk, I find myself where I should have been at the beginning: praising Him.

This Christmas season, let’s let go of our vision of how everything should be and focus on the praise. Praise for all the goodness He pours into our lives. Praise for a Father who bends down to listen to stubborn, willful children like me. And praise for a Love so great that He sent His only Son long ago, to a little town called Bethlehem. To save you and me.

Lord, when things aren’t going according to my plans, help me trust that You have a good and perfect plan—even for my mistakes. In the name of Jesus, amen.

About the author: Tama Fortner is an ECPA award-winning author with more than fifty titles to her credit, including her latest, Simply Christmas: A Busy Mom’s Guide to Reclaiming the Peace of the Holidays, and, for children, My Advent Nativity. To learn more, visit http://www.TamaFortner.com.

Join the conversation: What Christmas ideals have you given up on to keep sanity this Christmas season?


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