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This Christmas By Sarah Dlamini

Our view of God is shaped by so much in our lives right from our early childhood. It’s shaped by our parents, our early experiences of church, of friendship. And of course adversity and triumph, feast and famine. Our view of God is influenced and equally an influencer. Our faith, our prayer and our hopes are all direct consequences of how we see our God.

To me worship often springs from an appreciation of God as the mighty creator. The one who flung the stars across the universe and spins the globes in orbit. Who fills our lungs with air and keeps our blood pumping through our veins. From there it is a quick swell, a rising tide of gratitude that this mighty God is my redeemer. The ultimate sacrifice for my ultimate freedom. God has been good and kind and faithful even before my heart was committed to him. He has loved me and led me as a loving gentle Father would. And there is much of which our lips could, should and do sing His praise.

But this one verse in psalm 145:16 is one that has brought both praise and pain to my heart. “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalms‬ 145:16‬ NIV‬‬. You know those truths that we know and believe to be true. But sometimes, at that point where the rubber of our faith hits the tarmac of our reality, there is a bump. And with that bump a slight shifting, a vulnerability of footing so to speak. Am I safe in believing this truth despite those times when the evidence of my temporal existence demand an alternative viewpoint?

But yet equally this scripture has brought much warmth to my spirit. I cling to it often as the description of my Jesus. Loving, generous and attentive lover. Who gives without holding back. Like David teaches us in Psalm 63, such that our souls can be satisfied as with the richest of foods.

I have given much thought over the years that I have journeyed with this scripture to what desires means? Certainly there has been much I have desired (particularly with reference to physical wealth) that God has not granted. None of those desires are excessive, and can’t be considered to be unbiblical or ungodly (ok accept for the number of times I’ve desired to win the lottery!). And yet many remain unsatisfied. Such is the pain of taking encouragement from this particular scripture. What are we to make of the many desires that go unsatisfied?

This year has been par none (certainly in my short life!). The stress and strain that we all find ourselves under as we enter into the festive season is huge. Family budgets are totally blown out, bonuses will go unpaid as we all just try to bob up for air. And the reality is that many physical desires may well find themselves unmet this festive season. And in such a way that it may even feel like Gods hand is closed. And that beautiful image of our Jesus. Loving, generous and attentive lover is challenged almost irrevocably. And so if we can somehow mine a deeper revelation of a deeper truth. If we can send down a deeper plumb line it may well be a source of great strength and solace in this time of constraint.

The revelation I have had to this end is simple and may appear trite. But it’s width and depth is vast. In psalm 37 David again teaches us, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalms‬ 37:4‬ NIV This has been my starting point. If I find myself first delighting in Jesus. In all that He is. His radiant magnificent glory. The desires that grow in my heart in this place will be those that are placed there within my abiding in Him. Whether those desires are for physical blessings or spiritual blessings is secondary. Their seed bed is a delight in my creator.

The downstream current of this is remarkable. The more I delight myself in my King the less I find I worry about what I will eat or drink or what clothes I will wear. I find that my longing is in fact for Him. For spiritual intimacy. And connectedness with my loved ones around me. And here suddenly we see our radiant kinsmen redeemer. Hands open releasing every good thing to us. Releasing closeness to him, grace and restored relationships. Releasing kindness and fun into our homes. My husband and I have started a saying that we use to encourage each other when things are tight financially. We look at each other and smile and say “health is wealth”. And here we don’t mean physical health is physical wealth. We mean that we are grateful that from the kindness of God we have healthy relationships with God and with each other. And that is our wealth.

So this Christmas. This Christmas no matter your physical reality. See our Jesus. Loving, generous and attentive lover. With his hand open and ready to satisfy the desires of every living thing. This Christmas choose to say it with us. Health is wealth.

Women of Reverence welcomes Sarah Dlamini as our guest blogger. Get to know Sarah...

Sarah is loved by God and counts that as the first privilege and blessing above all. She also has a husband and 2 children (a son and a daughter) who she loves inexhaustibly. As a medical doctor currently specializing in paediatrics Sarah is passionate about public health. At the end of her day's she would want it to be said that she spared no part of herself in loving God as He has loved her and loving those around her as He asked her to do.

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