“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
- Jeremiah 33:3
2016 will most definitely go down as one of our favorite Thanksgiving holiday celebrations as a family. Much of it had to do with the fact that this was the first year the kids were off of school for the entire week. Having an entire week of flexibility to focus on our activities, outings, and holiday happenings made our Thanksgiving uniquely wonderful. With the extra time off we were able to go to Disneyland, decorate the house for Christmas, and even have a birthday getaway for me and my honey.
The different schedule this Thanksgiving allowed for more opportunities to celebrate, connect with the family, and get refreshed. In fact, this entire holiday season has been one where I have felt impressed by the Holy Spirit with this thought, "Prepare for the Different!" Thanksgiving is a time where we make adjustments to our home life and schedules. We set up an extra table and chairs in order to make room for guests coming for a delicious dinner; we tidy up the guest room for an out of state family member's stay; we lose hours of sleep to spend hours shopping for great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As I think about all the preparations and adjustments made last week for Thanksgiving, I can't help but think that the Lord wants us to prepare ourselves for the wonderful things He can do. I believe the Holy Spirit wants us to make room for Him to work in ways that are beyond our present sight, our basic understanding, and our most pressing needs. The Apostle Paul encourages believers of this unique way of living in II Corinthians 5:7, "For we live by faith, not by sight." If we prepare for His arrival in our midst and His answers in our mess, we will see His perfect love meet us, His perfect truth guide us, and His perfect touch help us. Just as Thanksgiving was different in the Zwerling home due to the change to the school schedule, we can have different results and realities when we pray to the Lord, when we surrender to the Lord, when we look to the Bible for answers, and when we show up at church each Sunday to worship the Living God! My prayer is that we would have a CLEARER ENCOUNTER with Jesus this Christmas. That each one would sense His presence when in prayer; that each one would be strengthened in faith through their present circumstance; that each on would have greater clarity when reading the Word; and that each one would receive a rich deposit of His love, promise, and freedom when we gather to worship.
If you have gone years with a debilitating issue, prepare for God to work in the same way as when Jesus freed the woman who had a blood disease for twelve years (Matthew 9:18-22)
If you have gone months without seeing positive results, prepare for God to provide in the same way as when Jesus directed Peter to fish on the other side of the boat (Luke 5:1-11)
If you have gone through a season of fear, pain, and loss, prepare for God to show up in the same way as when Jesus walked into the house of the disciples risen from the dead (John 20:19-29)
May this holiday season be wonderful as you make room for something new, something different, and something undeniably heaven sent!