We all have tasty little holiday pitfalls we fall into, ditches of fudge and spritz cookies, festivity that lingers with us for months, if you know what I mean. It is one of the delights of the season, quite frankly — away with you, diet mongers! You should be ashamed of trying to bring “health food” into a celebration of the Incarnation! What don’t you understand about Christmas?? Don’t you know that because of Christmas, death is literally going to die??? Away with your flax seed and carob chips (and really, we need to have speaks about what you are doing hanging around that stuff the rest of the year, but I am not wearing my intervention staging shoes, so it will have to wait for another day).
Personally, it’s the Muddy Buddies that wrestled me to the ground and hog tied my self-control. We were gifted the most lovely plastic container overflowing with happy happy happy (I recently introduced my kids to Duck Dynasty. Just thought you should know) concoction of Chex cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar and MnM’s and while given the size of the container, it was probably implied that we were supposed to share them as a family… it wasn’t explicitly stated, and they did hand it just to me, so…
Yeah, I haven’t shared so much as a nugget.
In my defense, though, I am saving all the powdery MnM’s for the kids. Muddy Buddies are perfect without any additions, and hey, I don’t want to be selfish.
But can I just say? I really wish I had some say in where all these Muddy Buddies (the ones that I seriously suspect are laced with crack cocaine, which, come to think, is another exceptionally good reason not to go handing them off to impressionable minors. My goodness, I am actually the hero of the story!) settle on my person. Why must all good things go straight to my love handles?? What I wouldn’t give to have all my evidences of holiday joy settle in, say, my ankles? I mean, to my knowledge, there has never been a department store changing room that heard the words, “Oh drat, these fabulous burgundy velvet slacks fit perfectly at the waist and they make my thighs look like Jennifer Lopez, but I just can’t fit them over my kankles!” It is not a thing.
Turns out, when I underwent my major weight loss adventure (which involved eating like an astronaut for about 6 months while pretending it was food and babbling to myself about why there was still gravity…), I learned that not only do we not get to choose where the weight goes on, we don’t get a say in how it comes off either. The first significant weight loss I experienced was all from my boobs and my backside — the 2 places I wasn’t having major objections to carrying weight in.
Did you know that the Hebrew definition of the word “glory” translates, roughly, as “weight”? To be heavy with glory, to be so blessed that your knees are buckling and your back bowing as you try to lift the magnitude of the glory that belongs to you. And we are told that our sufferings are producing this kind of weight — glory.
Just like Muddy Buddy pounds, we also don’t get to choose where God is building an eternal weight of glory in us. In my shortsightedness, I may be tempted by the sidelong glance, to admire God’s glory building in another while groaning under the weight of what He is heaping upon me…
We always think someone else’s love handles seem more attractive, easier to bear. Discontent is the squatter taking over the couch in the house of an old lie, friends — the lie that God Himself is not enough. He has said He will never leave you. He has proved it, time and time again, and just in case your vision has been growing dark and you have been struggling to see His hand in your situation, He sends you Christmas… every year. Unto you, reader, unto you a Child is born, a Son is given… Immanuel. God is with us. Our eyes are at fault, that is all.
And that is why we have a sure hope of glory, why His presence actually is the thing you need today when your kids are sick again, when your normal is turned upside down again, when your heart feels like it might crack under the strain, when faithfulness means a bloody-knuckled fight against sin and weariness and discouragement.
God is putting the weight exactly where it needs to be.