It's December 26th. We're all still here (as in the Mayan apocalypse didn't happen).
It's been just the four of us this Christmas at our house - and we like it. It is quiet and we are on our own schedules. Mainly we like that we are not travelling so there will be a small group coming to see us on Friday. It's not that we don't like visiting with family, but lately we have been the ones making the rounds so this year we decided not to do that.
This has been a strange Christmas for me. I didn't do any last minute shopping - it was all bought and wrapped early enough that I didn't feel stressed. But... this has been a season of spiritual dryness for me. I'm not sure how long I've been in this season but it has been a while. "Joy to the World" we sing, and I feel joy because the Lord has come, not because I feel joyful. Now let's not confuse joy with happiness. I am happy. My children are healthy, my marriage is wonderful, I have a great job - I am happy.
My desert times are always times of teaching to me. The Lord is trying to get my attention and I am looking and listening but not hearing - yet. In His time, I will learn what the lesson is. So in the desert, the joy is sparse, much like water. The joy is my oasis. So in these day at home, with our visitors, I will go to the oasis of joy and quench my thirst. I will remember when joy was plentiful and overflowing and know that I can have it once again.
So, you may ask... why? Why are you dried out? That, dear reader, is complicated, and not what I think I want to delve into today. During a previous time of a desert wandering, I had a verse that was the first thing I saw when I turned on my phone, from the book of Nehemiah: "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
For today, that is enough. Merry Christmas!