Does Your Christmas List Need a Lift?

Filed in Encouragement, Suffering by on December 18, 2013 4 Comments

Where in the world is a good, hydraulic couch cushion when you need one? I’ve finished my devotions and I can’t get up. I can envision my Christmas list in a couple of years:

  1. Replacement batteries for all seeing, hearing, and walking devices.
  2. A memo pad that sticks to the refrigerator…bathroom mirror…kitchen counter…my kid…and all outside doors.
  3. Extra shoe inserts for all foot maladies.
  4. Fashionable reading glasses with lights (they make ’em).
  5. Head-to-toe arthritis cream.
  6. A case of 5-hour Energy Shot drinks. Make that two cases.
  7. And the big one I mentioned above…a portable, light-weight, hydraulic lifter I can use for any chair, couch, pew or car seat I happen to light upon.

51Nym6ECBLL._SX300_

There are just some days it’s hard to get up, stand up, cheer up, wake up, lift up, or lighten up. You ever have those? Today is one of those days. Gravity seems like it’s been weight-lifting and has wrapped itself around my waist, my perspective, my prayers and my joy. I sat anchored on the couch, fighting invisible ambushes of guilt, condemnation, and hopelessness. Just when I was about to go back to bed, I prayed “Lord, I’m too tired to swing my sword. My body hurts too much to be productive. My heart is bent low and my thoughts are fighting darkness. Unless You defend and help me, I won’t answer the phone, respond to emails or text today because I don’t want to throw discouragement on someone else.” (I admit, there was a small thread of whining and self-pity in there.)

Since it was the 17th, I opened my Bible and turned to Psalm 17, and tossed a bookmark in Proverbs 17.

“Hear a just cause, O Lord,
Attend to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.
Let my vindication come from Your presence…”

Vindication from the Lord’s Presence? VINDICATION…from His Presence? I hadn’t even been praying about events in my life where I felt like I was on trial!

If someone could scrounge through the menagerie of my thoughts, they would find a box of unspoken defenses to the woman who let me know her disappointments about the women’s ministry I oversee. In another dark corner lies a volcanic mountain of words that have been spoken of my failure in past relationships. It seems so often like the enemy has his finger on the “eruption” button, so whenever I make a mistake of any kind, he hits the trigger and I am flooded with hot embers of shame and fiery tears of disappointment.

This season of stillness, weakness, and what I would label the “inability to perform” has surfaced a very loud, invasive, and relentless enemy in my life. Me. If someone else won’t let me know how I’m falling short or failing in some area, I’ll rehearse it to myself and ruthlessly hit every area: parenting, marriage, friendships, failures to reach out, lost contact with family, not taking better care of my home, yada, yada, yada, ad nauseum.

Can you hear it? The jury comes back into the courtroom: “Guilty on all counts.”

Vindication…from His Presence.

Immediately, the picture I used to own of the woman with the alabaster box weeping at Jesus’ feet, came flooding into my mind.

Jesusfeetweeping

 

Luke 7:36-50╬ô├╢┬╝Γö£├¡tells the beautiful story of a woman so gravity-filled with sin, so heavily-laden with brokenness, that she finds solace at the feet of Jesus, and pours out her most valuable possession; her heart. Meanwhile, she’s surrounded by those with self-inflated pride, hydraulically inclined ego’s and puffed up perspectives, that can only condemn and project silent portrayals of rejection. And what does Jesus do for the one who is down amidst the ones lifted up? He “vindicates with His Presence.”

Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 10.56.54 AM

To all those that looked upon this woman and formulated judgements, opinions, criticisms, and complaints, the Lord validated, vindicated, and defended her against her accusers. So whether you fight today to stay “upright” in righteousness amidst the heaviness of sin, or you are downcast and weak amidst the strong and elevated, or you feel broken and shame-faced amidst enthroned Pharisees and judges, the best place to be is realized in His Presence. You will find safety, peace, and His freedom as He vindicates you to those around you. And when you find that your own thoughts are having a tribunal and you are driven down in discouragement, at the feet of Jesus, there is vindication:

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses… Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb.4:15, 16

With all due divine respect and holy reverence I say, Jesus is a much more powerful and portable “lifter-upper” than any hydraulic device you can find on Google. He vindicates you to others and silences the critic in your head that says “perfection in performance is required for acceptance.” Such a lie. Such a fertilizer for insecurity. Grace. Grace. Grace. He loves us, just because He loves us.

╬ô├╢┬╝Γö£├¡”The Lord did not give you his love or take you for himself because you were more in number than any other people; for you were the smallest… But because of his love for you, and in order to keep his oath…the Lord took you out with the strength of his hand, making you free from the prison-house….” Deut. 7:7-8 BBE

“But You, oh Lord, are a shield for me,
my glory and the One Who lifts up my head.” Ps. 3:3

About the Author ()

Because of God's infinite grace, I get to be the wife of the most wonderful pastor I know. I'm the mother of a little miracle and stepmother to a treasure. The Lord has used my past jobs of working with families affected by addictions, abuse, and other life tragedies, to help oversee the women's ministry at Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes. I couldn't be more thankful for the Lord's entrustment to wear multiple hats of various sizes in the ministry of "life". Praying that each of these things are being used to make me more like my Jesus and bring Him great glory. Though I love all of the Word of God, Philippians 3:10 has become my life verse and Acts 20:24 my ministry pursuit.

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. DebieTucker says:

    Good morning, Shannon,
    Such a beautiful post, this morning. I actually found the ‘clincher’ text for my Christmas Joy Tea, right here, in your post: Deut. 7: 7-8 – ‘…but because of His love for you…’
    May the LORD continue to forge His beauty in you, dear sister in Christ, as you let your light shine, lending assistance to those in need…thanks so much for sharing.
    Looking unto Jesus,
    Debie Tucker

    • Shannon Gallatin says:

      Oh Debie,
      That’s SO wonderful…and what a perfect verse for Christmas. I wish I could come! Thank you for sharing with me. “Good news from a far country.” May He use your words in the same way for the ladies.
      Many blessings,
      Shannon

  2. Ann Knopf says:

    Thank you for this. I have been struggling with getting depressed lately. The enemy messes with me in telling me that I am “less-than” and “how could I be so inattentive and forgetful” . I love what you wrote about perfection in performance for acceptance and how it breads insecurity. As I was reading this I put my head down on my arm and thought of how Jesus was embracing me. This strong aroma of lavender hit me. I remembered I had just spilled my new lavender candle as I tried to blow out the wick. It was so sweet that that smell hit me as I was pondering all of this. Jesus is so good. He is so kind. He loves us so relentlessly.

    • Shannon Gallatin says:

      Thanks for sharing Ann…I pray it encourages someone else as well. The Lord has a way of coming to us uniquely and intimately. Some people have a hard time believing that He is this involved with us…but believing the words of Psalm 139 and how intimately acquainted with us He really is. But in believing,…”the pure in heart shall see God.” And you certainly saw and knew and embraced His love. Hope you had a very merry Christmas Ann.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *