OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #208 Jan’s Christmas OnFire
Inspired by something she has read, Jan spoke this past weekend at a women’s group and offered up her thoughts as an OnFire letter. So, this week’s letter is her gift to me, and I pass it along to you.
My favourite part of Christmas decorating is digging out the ornaments. They’re like old friends because each time I open the boxes I am flooded with memories. I have quite an eclectic mix of ornaments that we’ve collected over the years, and they bring back memories of people, places and events.
While living in Wolfville, just after Troy and I were married, I started collecting pewter ornaments. Eventually I had to slow down on the pewter since they are heavy and the tree can only hold so many!! But I still look for ornaments on trips to add to my "places I have been" collection.
I see some parallels between ornaments and our lives. Ornaments have been made for a specific purpose. Like ornaments, we have been created for a specific purpose. But what type of ornament are we?
Are we like a glittery golden bell without its clapper? It looks great on the outside but there is a problem. It’s not able to do what it was created for because something is missing. Our lives are empty without Jesus Christ. We cannot fulfill our true purpose without Him.
Are we a little tarnished? We started out pretty but have come into contact with things that have discoloured our spirit. We still function but fall short of our true potential until we let Jesus polish us.
Are we like those pretty golden ornaments which look so good from a distance, but upon closer inspection reveal that they are not real. The inside is filler. If it were solid gold it’s value would be much greater. No matter how beautiful the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts and increases worth. God is concerned more with the inside.
In 1 Peter 3:4-5 we read, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart,... the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." The outward decoration is okay but God places greater value on the inner beauty of a humble and quiet spirit.
Sometimes we feel like ornaments that are ugly, broken or discarded. Ugly, because there is sin discolouring our lives, souring our attitudes. Broken, due to the weight of worry and problems. Cracking, trying to hold it all together. Discarded, that we are no longer useful. When we feel like this way it easy to drift away from fellowship with Christ and other. Ironically, we avoid reaching out for Christ, when that is what we really need to do.
I have a very pretty crystal snowflake ornament. It’s transparent, letting God’s light shine through for others to see. This snowflake had to undergo adversity in order to attain maximum potential. It was shaped and cut several times to create the most light. We can either let hard times, discouragement, trials and devastation turn us into ornaments that aren’t so pretty or allow God to turn adversity into something beautiful that radiates His light.
Ian’s favourite ornament is a little pewter lobster we bought for him on Grand Manan. Mark’s is a snowman with a pull string that makes the arms and legs move which he received at a school ornament exchange. They are treasured. They’re not my favourite ornaments, not ones that I would pick for myself but because they are special to the boys they are special to me. God sees all of us as His favourite ornaments no matter the size, shape, colour, whether we’re fancy, plain, antique, modern, tarnished, or broken. We are valuable because God sees us that way and we need to value others because God sees them as his treasures.
We hope this helps. Be on fire.
OnFire is a weekly letter on faith and character normally written by Troy Dennis. This letter published Dec 7, 2009. To subscribe or reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives located at www.onfireletter.com. Blog at www.onfireletter.blogspot.com