Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 CEV
You have to love that Folgers Coffee commercial where they show the good-looking young man returning home to surprise his family on Christmas morning, and three generations awaken in a delightful mood, with perfect hair and no facial pillow marks, to drink coffee in their jammies and celebrate the reunion.
What a scene. We have total recall of that best of all Christmases, until we really do wake up and smell the coffee, and realize that Hey! That never happened! The commercial makes you nostalgic and misty-eyed over an experience you never had.
What really happened is: your sister’s family is broken and her kids are split between households every holiday; your son can’t make it because he has to work on Christmas; your mother and her new husband would just like to spend the holiday in a “low-key” way with a restaurant meal and TV specials (meaning without interference from relatives); and your favorite aunt or uncle passed away right around Christmas last year. Instead of a Waltons Homecoming or Touched By an Angel Christmas, you got a Simpsons or Malcolm in the Middle (in other words, horrifying) Christmas.
Unrealistic expectations (especially those generated by a marketing firm) can make real-life special occasions seem bitter or sad. But remember the times, both Christmas and everyday, when God turned it around: when all your plans crashed, but church members or neighbors invited you to fellowship in their homes and treated you as family. Or you volunteered at the homeless shelter and found peace in acting as the hands of Jesus. Or you just stayed home alone in your unattractive-but-warm fuzzy robe and a mug of coffee. God is faithful and has not forgotten you.
The LORD’s…compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22 NKJV
“The best part of waking up” isn’t what’s steaming in your cup. It’s the brimming heart of God, whose mercy and compassion are new every morning!