Tuesday’s Torch 515
December 18, 2018
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
Christmas does mean a bit more. I’ve not been super into the Christmas spirit this year. Family issues, financial concerns, stresses and strains have left me quite shaken. I have postponed decorating while hoping and praying for blessings it seems might not come. Waiting for last minute shopping after next payday has sapped some of the excitement.
Things very much aren’t how I had pictured they should be and so it’s been hard to feel like hanging ornaments on a tree. For weeks now I’ve been talking about hope and blessings and turning to God for help. Sometimes the help is strength to endure. I do not say that to suggest ever giving up or that miracles are not on their way. I know that all things are possible and that God loves us and knows what we need.
The greatest gift we have ever been given is the Savior Jesus Christ. Our celebration of his birth now has so much craziness attached to it that it is easy to lose sight of that greatest blessing we were given. Jesus Christ was born in a manger, lived a perfect life, took our sins upon himself in the Garden of Gethsemane and gave his life for us on the cross at Calvary.
That gift allows us to repent of our sins. It allows us to make mistake after mistake, commit sin after sin, and still be welcomed back onto the Gospel path when we recognize our sometimes horrific errors and seek help in making necessary changes.
How eternally grateful we should all be for the gift of the Atonement. The best gift we can give this year is our best selves. We can do all in our power to be better. To allow the Atonement to work in our lives. To break free from the chains that bind us to previous mistakes, ours or someone else’s. We should all know that it is never too late to do the right thing. It is never too late to forgive ourselves or others, to forsake our sins, to do the right thing even when it is hard. Or even when doing the wrong thing seems to offer such promise or reward.
In years past, minor pains and stresses would have led me down a dark path seeking relief and an escape. I thank my Father in Heaven that he is changing me into something better than ever. Sometimes my words may come across as bragging on myself or taking credit for every positive change I have made. But believe me, that credit belongs to my Savior who makes it all possible. I speak of overcoming my challenges not as a way to shout “look how awesome I am “, but to say, “look how terrible I was, and look at how great my God is to save me anyway!” And I testify, that if He can save me, as He has and continues to do, He can truly save anyone or anything we entrust to him. In closing, as we turn to God, as we live righteously despite our trials we may take comfort in this verse: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” -Psalm 55:22
May God bless and strengthen you. May He heal and comfort you. May He inspire and guide you. And may you feel of His love for you more abundantly, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16