With Thanksgiving and Christmas being my favorite times of the year, I love to host large groups of people at my home. In fact, it’s a tradition my husband and I began 17 years ago when we were just newlyweds. Decorating, cooking, and organizing gift exchanges are some of my favorite things! Yet, that all changed the year one of my children became ill Christmas morning. I had to painstakingly call each guest to cancel the event before heading off to the hospital.
Since then, I have hesitated to plan a similar event due to the disappointment of what happened. I mean, all those hours of preparation just went up in smoke. Bags of groceries and prepared dishes had gone to waste. Tons of folks suddenly had no plans on such a special day. Presents which had been purchased had to be returned. Would I risk all of that happening again? NO THANK YOU!
Maybe you were in a close relationship with someone. You probably spent a lot of time getting to know one another, make yourself vulnerable, and trust each other with things you wouldn’t tell just anyone. Unexpectedly, rejection rears its ugly head and this relationship is severed. When given the opportunity to connect with a new person, you remain as superficial as possible to avoid getting hurt. Why would you go through all of that hard work again only to be left feeling alone and broken? NO THANK YOU!
The underlying theme in these situations is fear. Fear is driving decisions of the present and future based on what we experienced in the past. I don’t blame you. I’ve been there. However, we have to wonder what are we missing out on by not taking these chances? Time well spent with loved ones, making special memories, developing new relationships, etc?
Two years ago, we decided to step out of the fear zone and plan an event for Christmas. We made it intimate with our family and it turned out to be WONDERFUL. My heart leapt with joy that we took this step of faith and everything turned out better than I could have hoped for.
Isaiah 43:18 and 19 declares, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! … I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” God reminds us that as painful and difficult as those situations were in the past, we don’t need to let those experiences dictate our present day or future decisions. After all, yesterday is gone. “Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” Will we make the most of it by taking risks and leaping out of our comfort zone? Can we declare “I’M NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR”? Can we put our hope and trust in God, rather than in our experiences? Can we believe that God is good and that the best is yet to come?