By Melinda Mattson
“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” ~Unknown
I grew up in Illinois and spent a weekend every December shopping with my family on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, peering into storefronts outfitted with dreamlike scenes. We were greeted by people dressed as elves at the doors of Water Tower Place, and the scent of Frango Mints floating out of Marshall Fields intoxicated us. Outside, horses adorned with balsam wreaths trotted by pulling carriages of couples snuggled beneath the warmth of madras blankets. Twinkling lights wrapped around the city’s trees illuminated freshly fallen snow as church bells welcomed Christmastide. It was magical.
Chicago celebrates the season with lavish love, but it was our childlike expectations that stole the scene. On those streets, woolen sleeves linked together, we believed anything was possible, expected the best in one another, and greatly anticipated the days to come.
But every day isn’t Christmas Eve, full of hopeful anticipation. Seasons change, years pass, and somewhere along the way, reality trumps Christmas wishes. Many of us have weathered seasons when we didn’t get much of anything from our wish list: plans failed, love lost, hopes were dashed. It feels safer to dim our hope to quell future disappointment. Yet wonder and joy are on the other side of hope, and scary as it may seem, we owe it to ourselves to go there.
Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know God promises to make all things new and use everything for our good. When we loosen our grip on our wishes and entrust them to him, he promises to make our righteousness shine like the dawn and make the justice of our cause like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:6).
The Message says it beautifully:
“Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.”
We needn’t fear what may come when ours is a God of hope who validates our lives. Trust God with your wishes for this and every season of your life, and hold nothing back. Expect to be radiant, because you are.
Lord, thank you for the beauty of the season. Remind us of your faithfulness when we begin to fear the future or lose our hope for the days to come. You are all good and all loving, and we trust you with our lives. Let us never stop coming to you with our heart’s desires. We know you love to give good gifts, and we exalt you in seasons of plenty or want. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture for Reflection
“You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2b NIV)
Reach for More
If there is something you’ve stopped praying for but you continue to long for, would you bring it to the Lord in faith this week? Ask him. Don’t hold back. We need to come to him freely as radiant children of God. Friends, let’s anchor ourselves in hope and hold nothing back from God.
Please come back and leave a comment telling us what hope you shared with God this week, or share your progress on social media using the hashtag #tgtreachformore. We would love to hear from you.
Melinda Mattson will follow any sign that leads to the promise of vintage décor and repurposed treasures. As a wife and mom to two dear daughters, her home is filled with equal measures of sugar and spice. She loves kindness and Jesus and is glad they’re meant to come as a package deal. She aims to embrace both with equal fervor. Melinda blogs at www.melindamattson.com.