The beautiful and patriotic decorated Christmas tree sits in front of the Alamo. A reminder of the need for light, love, and loyalty. Yes the tree is a symbol for Americans near and far yet when you are helping other people, you give something of yourself...
What do these two things have to do with each other, more or less, this blog series? It's the light. There are lights on the tree, and there is a glow in a person too. When the lights are on, it shines on anyone close enough to see. When we help other people, we are releasing some of the Light we have within ourselves to bless, encourage, and light up the life of another. The difference between the Christmas tree and the inner Light of Jesus in your heart, Jesus' light never goes out. We might get tired or weary, but this is when we might need to recharge or get plugged in again.
Once I finally had a flight home, it was almost nearly 11 p.m. on Monday night so I didn't anticipate seeing anything except darkness BUT like the light of the Christmas tree or the Light of Jesus in your heart...Light triumphs over darkness. I saw this firsthand Monday night and in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
As we flew out of Chicago I was sad as the light was left in the city but after a little while I noticed something, it was light. In awe, I stared out the window at the cities beneath the clouds. It was so cool. It was like looking into Atlantis. What are the lights below the clouds? Oh my gosh, they are cities!
This thought lead to, How do our missing children and adults feel? Their fear, doubt, and emotions magnified because they don't know if they'll ever make it home again. And tears rolled down my cheeks with more thoughts flooding my head. Did Heidi suffer? Was she trapped in the darkness calling out for someone to help her? Did she know there was hope and a light?
Just when my mind started to wander at lightning speed with irrational thoughts I closed my eyes to say a little prayer ~ Lord, You called me to Texas to share hope. I pray you are proud and Lord, please stop my emotions was spiraling out of control right now. I'm tired, homesick, and miss my sister. Lord, I need you. Amen.
Then I opened my eyes. Do you know what I saw? The lights! Jesus overcame the world through His death on the cross, a death that wouldn't have been possible if He wasn't born. As you celebrate Christmas, plug in your Christmas lights, and remember holidays of the past - reflect on the LIGHT and HOPE you have because of the Greatest Gift ever given.
God answered my prayer by illuminating the sky with various cities between Chicago and Syracuse for me, a reminder I'm never alone and He is always with me. Do you know Who can light up your heart, life, and the world? Jesus is our HOPE - He was one of the first to help other people...
Tomorrow you'll find out what the "E" stands for - you won't want to miss it.
H is for "Help", O for "Other", P for "People"...
-your spouse, other children, your parents, siblings
-an elderly neighbor
-a widow from church or the neighborhood
- the single mom checking out in front of you at the grocery store
- the very family, friends, coworkers, or community that stand by your side when life get touch
Regardless of how you might feel tonight, or as the holidays approach – remember this, you have the power to Help Other People – it's all in how you use your time, talents, and the love you have in your heart.
"Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and
energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God
through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through,
as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very
glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so
that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is
revealed to all the world.”
1 Peter 4:11c-13