Now that our Christmas tree is up we have begun decorating its boughs. Among the decorations are the old ornaments of my childhood. Then there are the school crafts of our grown children. Along with those somewhat tattered memories are the mementos of of vacations and trips. Many years of ornament collecting from the 50 ‘s to now. Each one is a collectible and I try to add one new ornament each year. Our kids and grandkids look forward to our tree holding precious keepsakes every year. You could say it’s a memory tree.
What are you decorating your tree with this year?
If we were to decorate our lives like we do our Christmas trees, with memories of the past, how would our trees look? Would the boughs hold sweet reminders of wonderful times? These memories add to our lives – they enhance the view of our past and help us enjoy our present as well as encourage us to look forward to our futures.
Or would the limbs showcase our disappointments, our futility, our rejections, mistakes, and more. Would we put the best ornaments forward or would we try to display every hurt, humiliation and heartache for the world to see?
While the ornaments on Christmas trees across the country remind folks of precious memories, we must be careful not to decorate our memories with those things that do nothing for Kingdom living. We cannot relive our past mistakes nor hold onto our future fears. It’s not going to do anyone any good, especially us, if we bring up old mementos of bad days we wish had never happened and relive each and every one over and over every year.
We must choose carefully those things we choose to adorn our lives with. The beauty of God’s peace should be our shining star. No one has such wonderful peace as those who have given their lives, with the entire load of guilt, pain, remorse, regrets and failures, to the Lord. The Light of salvation, rich and full and free, should shine brightly among every single bough. No need to go cheap on this light for the more you share it among the limbs, the more it will shine out for others to see. Pick out the best to put on the front – joy, faith, contentment, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness and more. These are beautifully painted and color our hearts and lives with inner radiance. While the sorrowful things of life tend to weigh life down, those good and gracious and precious memories tend to lift up the heart and make merry.
As you prepare to decorate your tree, take a moment to review your life. Now is as good a time as any to look over each memory to see if it’s worth carrying to the tree. Why don’t you just box up those things that might bring you to despair or weigh you down? Keep them in the box, don’t bring them out again – those ornaments only bring more pain and more heaviness. In fact, why don’t you just hand that box full of things you cannot handle on your own and give them to the One Who can dispose of them correctly? He will take your hurts, your pain, your regrets and your failures, along with future fears and discontentment and remove them as far as the east is from the west. You’ll never have to deal with them again when they’re given to Him. And if they try to show back up in the future you can refuse ownership of them, reminding yourself that God has handled all your broken, disfigured and torn memories.
Oh beloved, isn’t it time to decorate the tree fresh and new? Bring out the best that God has to offer – priceless ornaments of life that were purchased for you freely and without conditions! His adornment of His peace will be all you will feel in your heart and see in your mind as you hand your entire collection of life to the One Who came to release you from it all. You won’t be empty handed, for He will fill your life with all good things as you portray His Truth about you.
God loves you and He’s for you and those are trimmings that never grow old no matter how many times you decorate your heart and mind with them.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice in Your word like one who discovers a great treasure.
Philippians 4:8 …Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Colossians 3:10 …and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.