home grown fresh fruit

birthday cake for my stepson

We’re getting ready to head into the holiday season, so it seems only appropriate to talk about feasting and gladness. When God saved the Jews from annihilation in Persia through Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordecai, the people took a day off to rejoice over the victory. Today we call that celebration Purim:

They rested, celebrating their victory with a day of feasting and gladness.
Est. 9:17, NLT

If God hadn’t put Esther in the palace so she could go to the king and plead for her people, there would have been a nationwide slaughter. Who wouldn’t celebrate such a rescue from God’s hand? And this is how we always respond to victory…isn’t it?

I’m not sure it always is. I suspect we don’t celebrate God-given victories near enough. Which one of the answers below best describes how you responded to the last victory God gave you – over temptation, fear, codependence, money problems, lying, or whatever the enemy uses to try and defeat you?

·         I was proud of the way I had handled the situation and vowed to work all the harder.
·         I was glad, but worried the other person would change their mind and it would be worse than before.
·         I rejoiced inside, but couldn’t take time off to celebrate.
·         We celebrated, but it turned into a family squabble.
·         We planned to have a party, but got busy doing other things.
·         I was too embarrassed to tell anyone what I’d been struggling with, so I couldn’t tell anyone about the victory.
·         I told my friend/family, and they celebrated God’s victory with me.

Did any or several of those apply to you? Our busy schedules, distracted minds, embarrassment, pride, and lack of unity take a lot of the gladness out of victory celebrations we could be enjoying. We may be so out of tune with what God is up to that we don’t even recognize the event as a victory.

Could it be that our focus is more on this world than eternity? Do we see our problems as part of the war for human souls and desperately seek God’s help to overcome them? Or are we just fighting for comfort and happiness in our day to day life?

In Celebrate Recovery, we have what’s called “Chip Night” once a month. Every first timer gets a plastic chip to mark the beginning of their recovery. Others for the number of months or years they’ve been clean and sober (or found healing from abuse etc.). Along with their chip, each person receives a hug and round of applause. This is victory!

God is challenging me to be more aware of victory, and to celebrate it more. Even if I only lean back and breathe a prayer of thanks, I can rest and be glad in what He has done.
Where do you see God winning a victory in your life? Rest. Celebrate. Feast. Be glad!

salad with a creative flair

lunch with Patricia