Joyous labor was mine to brainstorm, scrutinize and craft each little mom-made treasure for my golden heads. Laying each unique package out on Valentine morning beside the tower of raspberry cream crepes, the craft and delivery was indeed my focus for a time, but after the thank yous are said and they whisk out the door, I'm left with the substance: loving affection for my fold. Love is more important than the tangible gift.
In the middle of stuck inside winter, when the days seem unbearably long and monotonous, I am guilty of focusing on what I want (to avoid the downers) but I error because I miss seeing Jesus--the true answer to my need. I want Jesus to pull me out of this slump but I become so focused on deliverance, I miss the Deliverer.
When I am truly focusing on Jesus, the circumstances will become less important than the eternal Savior. Last Sunday, I heard "Christianity is an on-going call to every day believe in the Word of God." So my prayer must be submitting my spiritual and physical circumstance to God because He has power over the physical and spiritual realm (Colossians 2:15, Hebrews 2:14 Mark 4:39-41) and choose to believe His Word that
..for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the first born among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29
He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Do you believe God is working? He has an endless number of powerful possibilities He may choose to work in your circumstance. Will you focus on what you think you want or on Jesus, the one you need? He is superior to the gift.

It's Grace

Everyday my reckless decisions unleash more opportunities to become attuned to God's grace toward me; to realize His generosity toward me when I have done NOTHING to deserve it. Actually, I've done everything to incur His hatred, punishment and damnation. There is truly nothing good in me!
In His righteous judgment, I deserve to stumble and perish, to sink in the pit I have made, to catch my foot in the net in which I've been hiding, to be caught in the work of my own hands (from Psalm 9).
Holed up during the arctic blast, we watched movies and had conversations about character's attitudes toward God and their rebellion. Instead of turning to God for purpose and satisfaction they turned to sex, drugs and alcohol. In my rebellion, I tend to turn to food. Yet because of His grace, Jesus says, "You don't have to stay there. Come to Me."
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forgotten those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
Because I Come to Him, He awards forgiveness toward my rebellion and all the wickedness and evil propensities in me are replaced with Jesus' perfect righteousness. I trust that's what Jesus did for me. I am reminded of this when I clean up the smudges, crumbs and goo from my little guy's face.
It's typical for me to categorize the wicked as crooked politicians, shrewd businessmen, drug dealers and traffickers, but I am wicked. The ONLY thing that differentiates me from "them" is my choice to come as Jesus invites!
Pray that more would come to Jesus and do not neglect to thank Him for His undeserved grace toward you.