"Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you…" Psalm 40:5
Part of Swanson family Christmas tradition is reading The Polar Express just before bed on Christmas Eve. When the kids were little, I loved seeing their starry-eyed wonder as they lost themselves in the possibilities of Christmas, and we have kept reading it because I never want them – or me – to forget that sense of wonder. It is easy to get swept up in the ills of our world, to fade into a mindset of cynicism, skepticism, and negativity, but the incarnation reminds us that anything is possible in a world God inhabits. The magi had just enough "wonder" to follow a star, believing it was a sign from God that might lead them to the hope and promise of life. They followed it because, in spite of their wealth, power, education, and social status, something was still missing. It's why our churches swell this time of year. I think people realize that all they have is not enough, so they return to the story of Christmas, hoping against hope that perhaps it is true. Are you tired of being that person who is always negative? Are you nagged by the thought that there must be something more?
"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
We all know that building on Interstate 4: "the eyesore on I-4." We know it because it has been sitting there for years, unfinished. It is the perfect analogy for our human tendency to start things, but not finish them. God, on the other hand, is complete in His nature. He has never started anything which He did not finish, which is why Jesus said from the cross, "it is finished." The work of salvation is complete. It is why Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." One day, we will be "finished" beings in Christ. Therefore, as God lives in us, we should reflect His nature by the manner in which we finish the commitments He calls us to make. In Nehemiah 6, he made a commitment to complete the rebuilding of the wall, but he faced many distractions and heavy opposition. Nonetheless, by depending on God's strength, he completed the project in 52 days. What's more, the surrounding community knew that GOD had done it. What has God called you to do that remains undone? And why? Are you afraid of what is next, perhaps afraid that God will not provide in the next season as He has in this one? Trust God as Nehemiah did, and glorify Him by learning to be a finisher – a closer. Take the steps necessary in whatever commitment you have made – personal, financial, physical, spiritual – and finish for the glory of God!