Years ago as I watched the new version of Miracle on 34th Street with the kids, feeling like the disillusioned mother in the movie, a gentle whisper seemed to say to me, “Can you believe in Santa Claus?” I thought to myself, “How utterly ridiculous!” I was a grown, rational woman who actually was a bit surprised by my enjoyment of the movie.
But there I sat, bewildered, posed with a question by the very One I thought would feel contrary about Mr. Santa Claus. And yet how absurd to think God would be threatened by this imaginary rival. I could have ignored this strong impression that popped into my head, but I chose to follow its lead.
God has always spoken through pictures, like Jesus did when He would tell a parable to illustrate His point. I believe God speaks through pictures because they engage us, but also because He knows that there always will be those who will dismiss Him and not bother to turn aside to truly examine what He’s getting at, like some of the prideful folks of His day.
The probing continued, knowing my firm resistance to the frivolity of Santa Claus. He was prompting me to delve deeper and look into the significance of this joyful character. But like the efficient mother in the movie, I had learned how to plod along, handling the realities of life. Yet, he was simply asking me if I would be willing to receive all of the blessings and joy that Santa represented. He was asking me if I would be willing to receive a life of joy, bliss and grace that surpassed my circumstances.
It’s easy to look around and think something outside ourselves is the cause of our struggle or issues in life. I certainly have and still do at times. But when we begin to recognize our outer struggles are related to an inside perspective, things begin to shift.
We might think our lack of income, provision, health, or relational issues are the cause of what’s stopping us. We might be tempted to measure our reality by our surroundings, not recognizing that reality is not a fixed dimension, but an interpretation.
Hopefully our awareness and paradigms will continually expand and we will out grow the limitations we’ve previously perceived. (I continue to discover thoughts and perceptions that I didn’t know I had and regularly make the choice to reframe the way I see life and I hope you do to.)
It’s when our thinking is entrenched (actually stuck in a groove) that we’ve chained ourselves to an idea that becomes a law that rules over us. A belief only has power to master us if we believe it is the law, or authoritative rule. When we move out of a legal relationship to it, we immediately open ourselves up to experience a profound shift.
There are many perspectives stemming from upbringing, the faith community and the world at large, that can foster a mindset of scarcity and separation. “I’m not enough”, “There isn’t enough”, or “I’m somehow distanced and on the outside looking in” beliefs are fallacies that do not reflect the truth as much as they reflect a lens from which we may be viewing our reality.
It’s important to recognize a skewed lens when it presents itself, rather than allowing a scarcity perspective to place limitations on us, by trying to shrink a limitless God into a man sized stature. It would benefit us to run from any thought or belief that alienates us in our mind and does not align with the promise that nothing can separate us from God’s love.
If nothing can separate us from God’s love, than nothing can separate us unless the separating and disconnecting is on our part! So when we get a tinge of fear about our future, our finances, or life in general that causes us to feel separated or left out from the pack, we must address perspective. God isn’t wringing His hands about the economy, tomorrow or our bank account balance and oversees all he does with love. This perspective pertains to our vision and dreams as well.
FAITH IS EXPECTANCY!
If we’re dragging, coping, running or trying not to get our hopes up we’re not in faith. Maybe we don’t have enough faith after all. Maybe we’re working so hard to be the hero when the real Hero is waiting to come forth in us.
It’s amazing that God bound himself to mankind through love. We’ve been given the gift of grace. In fact, it’s an offense to ignore the extravagance of this Hero-love by striving to make it on our own.
Instead we have an amazing invitation to pull up to the power source, rest in effortless trust and soak in divine love and grace!
Isn’t it time we got out of our head, gave up muscle flexing and merely opened up to receive the supernatural life of The Hero stirring within?
UNLEASH THE HERO WITHIN!
UNLEASH THE HERO WITHIN!M
Today’s SPIRIT@WORK ® Card is: HOPE. Langston Hughes wrote,
“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams for when dreams go life is a barren field frozen with snow.”
Without HOPE we fail to dream and without dreams we fail to have inspiration. Where HOPE is lost darkness ensues.
I have known plenty of dark seasons in my life, as I am sure you have too. Without HOPE I would never have seen the daylight after the death of my first husband. Without HOPE I would not have moved forward to mother my four children and experience the sunshine of HOPE rise in my heart.
I believe HOPE is accompanied by faith and faith is accompanied by trust. Because I am convinced that there is a Supreme Being that loves me, I have faith in that love. That faith allows me to trust and HOPE that the sun will rise on whatever my circumstances may be presently. When I am struggling to maintain HOPE, I recall the many love wonders that have transpired in my life and I can’t help but feel a shift in my countenance.
HOPE is a value we must nurture.