I spent the first two weeks of December at my sister’s house walking alongside her and her family as she continues her road of recovery from a 13 hour surgery to remove cancer from her body. One of the joys I had while there was decorating her Christmas tree.
I t was the first time I’ve ever decorated a tree by myself. I felt a little in-secure. My sister is much better at creative decorating than me! She had a pre-lit tree but most of the lights had gone kaput. Her daughter and I had worked hard at removing the lifeless strands. Now I was left with a tangled mess of working light strands. They could give life back to that tree, but I had no previous experience with this kind of untangling. My husband is always our Christmas tree light man! Now, as I stared at this daunting task, I knew it could be done by weak little me. Little by little I combed through those tangled strands until they were in a straightened working order. Of course, I had a great supportive cheerleader: my sister, Kimberly. It became a delightful untangling because she was there cheering me on, encouraging me every step of the way.
As I was untangling those light strands I couldn’t help but think about the tangled messes that plague our personal lives. I remember vividly how time after time God had taken the tangled mess of my life and brought order. That same week, I also saw God work in an unrelated situation. I was absolutely amazed to see God untangle a situation that made absolutely no sense at all. But that’s who God is: He gives beauty for ashes. He brings order out of chaos. He untangles our messes – if we’ll let him. He makes sense of the senseless.
Jesus’ birth looked senseless to many. It didn’t make sense that Jesus, the long awaited Messiah, was born in a stable. It didn’t make sense that he was born to a humble, poor family rather than a powerful one. But, He was. He came, lived, died and rose again and is in the untangling business. And, after the untangling, the miraculous light of His glory shines through. I did some good pruning on that Christmas tree and it turned out to be something quite beautiful that brought joy and delight.
In 2015 let us daily give God the freedom to straighten out or eliminate those tangled up areas in our lives that keep the glorious light Jesus’ beauty from glowing both in and through us. Let us commit to let His love radiate more fully His warmth, gentleness, and kindness to all of those in our world. Always begin with our family first.