A little over a week ago, I had only one Christmas present purchased, Christmas cards purchased but not addressed, stamped, or signed, Christmas letter unwritten, and some ladies’ ministry responsibilities that needed to be taken care of before I could start in on my Christmas things. And when the realization of all that I needed to do and the shortness of the time hit me, I began to panic. True, Christmas isn’t all about the “stuff” that needs to be done — but stuff still needs to be done, especially when you consider most of it a way to minister to people.
And the bad part was….this was unequivocally my own fault. Some of these things had been on my mind to do for weeks. I would think, “Oh, yeah, I need to get to that….” and then use my time unwisely (too often on the computer 😳 ). The worst part was the ladies’ ministry responsibilities. (I don’t say much about that ministry here because I don’t want it to seem as if I am drawing attention to what “I” do — you know all those verses about letting what you do for the Lord be done in secret. I don’t feel that way when other people write about their ministry involvement, and I enjoy reading it, but as long as I have that little feeling that I should refrain, then I probably should.) Jeremiah 48:10a says, “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully,” and the NASB translates it, “Cursed be the one who does the LORD’S work negligently.” I felt I had been handling those responsibilities negligently.
I confessed that negligence, poor use of time, and selfishness to the Lord and asked for His help and grace to get the things done that needed to be done.
In the past I would often beat myself up with guilt for days and days, but, you know, once you confess a sin, repent of it, ask forgiveness, accept it by faith, and determine with God’s grace and help to rectify the situation and take steps to avoid it in the future, though you still feel bad when you think of the incident, it is really a waste of time to beat yourself up over something God has graciously forgiven you for.
He amazingly, graciously enabled me to get a load of stuff done this week: ladies’ ministry responsibilities taken care of, Christmas letter written, cards signed, addressed, stamped, picture of the boys taken and printed to include in cards, one Christmas package sent out of town and another just about ready, and some gifts ordered online and plans to get the rest this week. And all with a lot less panic and stress than I would have thought. There was one gift I wanted to make (something else that I knew about for a couple of months but just never did get started) that I haven’t done yet, but the recipient has a birthday soon so I may save it for that. I am still trying to decide — I think I may start on it today and just see how far I get. And I was even able to still do a bit of blogging, when I thought I was going to have to barely touch the computer this week.
Isn’t He wonderful?
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth (Psalm 86:15).