Since I am an October baby, I am a bit partial to this time of year. I love walking outside and seeing the beautiful colors splashed across the sky as the trees say goodbye and shed their leaves for winter. I love the cooling down of the temperature, and of course, all the wonderful, warm comfort foods we begin to indulge in this time of year. It seems like everyone pauses to take a deep breath before they rush into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
And now that October has come and gone, that season is upon us. I have heard so many reports of stores opening earlier and staying open later. I have nothing against this as shopping is a favorite past-time, but I don’t want to lose what is most important at this time of year, and what should be important throughout the year. We barely put away the leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner before rushing to put up the Christmas lights and beginning to wrap presents. Don’t get me wrong, I love decorating and I love all the events that come with the holidays. I am not boycotting any of this. I just want more.
I have been praying about many things in my life and God is tilling up my heart in a lot of areas. If you don’t know what “tilling” is then think of a plow in a garden going over rough dirt and ‘turning it over’ as country folks would say. That is how my heart has felt lately. That is what happens when you let God speak to you and you actually listen to what He has to say. There have been many times when He had to go back over that same patch of dirt because I just didn’t want to hear it, but He is working on that.
So, as the holiday season approaches, I hope to share with you the little things that till up my heart in hopes they might give you the gift of encouragement. With that being said, here is my first little bit of inspiration:
The other morning I was listening to the radio when an artist began talking about a Christmas project his group had just completed. In the Christmas project, they had just received permission to use Linus’ speech from A Charlie Brown Christmas as part of one song. I smiled as I thought about just how many times I had viewed that particular holiday favorite. As I listened to the artist’s interview, something dawned on me that I had never thought about before. The artist said, “Linus dropped his blanket when he spoke the words ‘Fear not.’” Linus dropped his blanket? I had never noticed that particular detail. Was it just coincidence, or symbolic of what Schulz wanted us to understand about that particular speech? I had to watch it again, just to see if it was true.
Now, I am sure you have your own opinion and you may disagree with me, but I truly believe it was symbolic. The moment Linus spoke those words, he had no need for his blanket. There was no need to fear for he had ‘Good tidings of great joy…a Savior was born.’ One who could take away the need for our blankets had just made His appearance in this world. In that moment of realization, Linus needed only Jesus. All his insecurities faded away.
There is a lesson to be learned in that one movement of releasing the blanket and letting it drop to the ground. Sometimes we are so afraid of the unknown, of failure, of the future, of not being able to control our present circumstances. You fill in the blank. You know where your insecurities lie and what you cling to in order to remain safe, warm, and comforted. What if you let the blanket drop today? I bring you good tidings of great joy as well! Jesus is everything you need and He will wrap His arms around you and blanket you with His love.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
~II Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
So if God did not give us this fear and insecurity, why are we still carrying it around and clinging to it? I think I would rather have power, love, and I could certainly use a sound mind. (No comments from the audience on that one, please.)
The problem with Linus is that he picked the blanket back up after his speech and he stuck his thumb back in his mouth. It is like having to go back and till the soil again, or that is how I see it. Sometimes we get these moments of inspiration where we glimpse what Jesus wants to do for us and in a moment they are gone and we are clinging to that same blanket with our thumbs in our mouths or we are tilling the same spot over and over.
My prayer for you and for myself today is that we will permanently let go of the fear and allow Jesus to wrap us in His warm blanket of love, give us power to handle whatever comes our way, and the knowledge and clarity of mind to make the decisions we need to make.
Until next time,